Children who have battled cancer were driven around in luxury dream cars as part of a new event in Red Deer.
The Go Live Foundation hosted the first Drive to Thrive at Das Auto on Sunday. In addition to the drive for the kids, there was a car show, live music and a barbecue.
Twelve children received rides in luxury cars during the event.
“I’ve had to try to not cry a million times just because it’s been very emotional seeing how appreciative these kids are,” said Rachelle Dandurand, who co-founded of the foundation with her brother Ryan and late mother Heidi.
“These kids have gone through some of the biggest hardships I’ve ever seen and they’re so happy and positive. It makes you have a different outlook on things.”
Dandurand’s father Mike was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013 – he passed away the following year. Two months later, her mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.
“She did chemotherapy for five years. We lost her in July 2019,” said Dandurand.
“Right at the end of her palliative journey … we wanted to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation, so we sold tattoos that she designed. We did $150 tattoos with a couple of shops here in Red Deer and we ended up raising just under $5,000 in a couple of weeks.”
After their mother passed away, the Dandurand siblings wanted to continue fundraising through Go Live Foundation events to honour the memory of their parents.
Ryan was a part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation event in Kelowna where children were able to take a ride in luxury vehicles. The siblings thought this type of event would be a great fit for Central Alberta.
The drives during the Drive to Thrive event lasted about 30 minutes. While the children were out, there were still some luxury cars on site for people to see.
“We wanted things to continue happening even when the kids are gone on their drive,” she said.
“The car community is really small. We decided to have the car show and maybe it’ll grow into something bigger eventually.”
For more information on the Go Live Foundation, visit www.golivefoundation.ca.