Friends of Marie Shepherd host a breast cancer friendship breakfast

A group of special friends of the late Marie Shepherd will host a public breast cancer friendship breakfast on Saturday, March 14

A group of special friends of the late Marie Shepherd will host a public breast cancer friendship breakfast on Saturday, March 14.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Phoenix Ballroom (33780 King Rd.)

With years passing since the last local breast cancer breakfast, organizers were excited about co-ordinating an event for this spring to honour Shepherd, a survivor of multiple types of breast cancer and the past visionary leader at the Fraser Valley Breast Cancer Branch.

The event turned into a tribute for Shepherd, as she passed away from the disease in late January.

Along with chairing the local Breast Cancer Branch, Shepherd was a director on the BC/Yukon Region Board, captain of the Spirit Abreast dragon boat team and captain of the Abby netball team, all while working for Corrections Canada for decades.

Judy Caldwell, who founded the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon Region in 1992 with a team of dedicated women, will be the guest speaker.

Caldwell had completed treatment for breast cancer and was determined to address the need for awareness, education and advocacy. She served as the BC/Yukon Region first president, chaired the first advocacy and education committee, and as chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s communications committee was instrumental in raising its national profile and success level.

Caldwell was also a founding paddler and former boat captain of Abreast in a Boat, the world’s first competitive dragon boat team powered entirely by breast cancer survivors.

She is a recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, the 2010 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for community and service, and the B.C. government 2008 community achievement award.

In addition, Abbotsford’s La Vonne Bandsma will share her personal journey with breast cancer, from diagnosis to treatment to present day.

Early bird tickets are $25 per person if purchased by March 5; after that, they are $30.

Tickets include a buffet brunch and are available at Zammy’s Lingerie (2630 Bourquin Cr. West), The Reach, (32388 Veterans Way) or by calling 604-853-3983.