Small But Mighty Gold Walk 2018
THE SMALL BUT MIGHTY GOLD WALK RAISES FUNDS AND AWARENESS FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER RESEARCH
The 4th Annual Small but Mighty Gold Walk in Saskatoon honoured children that have been affected by pediatric cancer. The anticipated event unified hundreds of families across Saskatchewan to spread awareness and raise money for childhood cancer research. The event organizers, Jenn Lyster and Carolyn Anderson, selected Childhood Cancer Canada because 100% of the funds would be donated to the Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Council (C17), Canada’s leading pediatric research network.
This year the Small by Mighty Gold Walk raised $43, 616.25 for childhood cancer research. According to Small by Mighty, 64 children were diagnosed with cancer in Saskatchewan. Many Canadians are unaware that less than 5% of cancer funding in Canada is designated to childhood cancer research. Organizers Jenn Lyster and Carolyn Anderson were determined to create awareness when they both had children diagnosed with cancer.
Lyster’s daughter, Tegan, was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2011 at the age of 2 years old; and Anderson’s son, Micah, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2013 at 9 years old.
Their children’s diagnosis’ affected both their families daily even after treatment was complete. Tegan and Micah are survivors; however, they continuously deal with the long-term side effects of treatment.
“Tegan was diagnosed August 13, 2011, with leukemia. She’d had about 6 weeks of symptoms previously including mood changes, appetite changes, paleness and pain with walking. Tegan’s bone marrow was 93% leukemia blasts at diagnosis. The first couple of months of treatment were mostly spent in the hospital where Tegan struggled with infections and high blood pressure and developed a blood clot. Once all that seemed to resolve, Tegan did very well through the next two years, never having a hospital admission. She did and still does, struggle with leg pain and weakness due to chemo and for a few years wore leg braces to help support her. She completed treatment October 24/13. Today she still has to wear special inserts in her shoes and is followed by physical therapy. As Tegan has gotten older she has developed signs and symptoms of PTSD and so we are seeking resources to help her through this. In general, Tegan is happy and healthy and we are so thankful she is here. She loves rhythmic gymnastics, dancing and singing, and hanging out with her sister and friends. She is a very loved little girl!”
“My son, Micah, was diagnosed with a brain tumour on September 23, 2013, and since then our lives have changed forever. He had brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. He spent many nights in the hospital as that was where he received his chemotherapy. That was hard for him to be there and to be away from his sisters and I. My husband stayed with him as I was expecting our 5th child at that time and we went every day to visit them. The time during treatment was extremely intense and very hard on Micah and the rest of us. It was hard to see Micah face all of this and not be able to take it away from him. He was just a little 9-year-old boy at that time. I feel that he was robbed of those precious years when life is full of imagination and play.”
Today, both Tegan and Micah are happy children looking towards a brighter future. This is not always the case for children that are diagnosed with cancer.
“Childhood Cancer affects many, many children. Some of those children have a high chance of survival, but there are many like Micah who only had a 60% chance of survival. There are also many children who only have a 20%, 30% or even 0% chance of survival. This all needs to change!! Children are also suffering from many side effects post treatment and this needs to change as well. These children are receiving harsh treatment to their developing bodies and the treatment is causing lifelong side effects”, said Anderson.
This year the Small but Mighty Gold Walk surpassed their expected goal of $30,000 with the support of their community. If you are someone that is interested in participating in the future, please click the link below to learn more about this amazing event.