In the fall of 2013, Heidi’s sister Jeanette was diagnosed with lung cancer.
One month later, Heidi was diagnosed with vulvar cancer at the age of 53. Facing similar trials, the two sisters decided they were going to battle cancer together. By supporting one another, they gave each other hope.
Soon after her cancer treatments, Heidi started to volunteer at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Mission unit office.
There she heard about the Relay For Life and was encouraged to set up a team. She created Nini’s Dreamers, named after the nickname Heidi gave her sister. The goal was for Jeanette to be at the fundraiser and to walk the survivors’ lap. Sadly, Jeanette passed away from her lung cancer before being able to attend the relay.
In honour of her sister’s memory, Heidi attends and participates in the survivors’ lap every year, with her sister’s dog Baily beside her.
“It’s a celebration of one more year of people being survivors,” says Heidi. “It’s one more year of moving forward to our dream, which is a cancer-free tomorrow.”
The dollars raised from Relay For Life help fund cancer research as well as support programs for people with cancer and cancer prevention initiatives.
Although Heidi’s cancer has reoccurred, she still continues to be involved with Nini’s Dreamers and fundraises for the relay.
The Abbotsford Relay for Life takes place Saturday, June 11 at Rotary Stadium.
The event runs from 5 to 11 p.m. Teams are encouraged to dress up in an attempt to win the Team Spirit Award.
A hot air balloon from Re/max will also be at the event. Attendees can ride the hot air balloon by donation.
For more information or to register, visit relayforlife.ca/abbotsford