Max Andruik

Survivors appreciate their lives more deeply

Having breast cancer gave Barb Dreichel and Janet Johnston a new zeal for life.

Having breast cancer gave Barb Dreichel and Janet Johnston a new zeal for life.

The survivors who participated in Sunday’s 12th annual CIBC Run for the Cure in Red Deer say they learned to have a deeper appreciation for their life.

Dreichel of Pigeon Lake learned she had cancer in 2011 after an annual mammogram revealed a lump in her right breast.

“You’re devastated for a while,” said Dreichel, 58. “You can sit home and feel sorry for yourself — or you can put a smile on your face and continue on. And that’s what I did.”

Dreichel underwent two lumpectomies, chemotherapy and radiation and will be taking drug treatments over the next several years. She said she appreciates life more, and doesn’t take things so seriously.

“And you realize what wonderful friends you have,” said Dreichel, who underwent treatment in Camrose. “It hasn’t been as devastating an experience as I thought it would be.”

Dreichel was joined by 14 friends who named themselves “Barb’s Beavy of Beauties.”

Debbie Bailer of Pigeon Lake said most of the women have known each other since elementary school. No one else in the group has been diagnosed with cancer, but they’ve all been touched by it in some way, said the nurse.

“It’s so important that we have local cancer clinics so that people don’t have to drive to the big, big centres.”

Johnston, 59, of Red Deer, has a similar story about the kind of support she’s received.

About 20 of her friends and family became the JUGG’S team. This is Johnston’s 12th year of being cancer free.

“You enjoy every day of your life because you never know what can happen,” said Johnston, a grandmother of five. “This is something that I wasn’t expected to have. My family has no history of breast cancer and one day I found a lump.”

Johnston said she’s been “surviving” ever since, and even at diagnosis, she planned her daughter’s wedding.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s event ran at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.

Since 2001, the Red Deer event, which is a one or five-km walk or run, has collected almost $2 million for the foundation.

The Red Deer run attracted 1,235 participants — up by about 300 from last year. Donations as of Sunday totalled $256,636, also ahead of last year’s tally on run day.

Lois Moreau, co-director of the Red Deer Run, said this year’s Survivor tent was created with the theme of Life is Sweet. The booth included everything from bubble gum to teddy bears.

“It seems like we’re seeing survivors more and more,” she said.

“It seems like every time I talk to somebody, they have someone who has been newly diagnosed and is just going through the process.”

Since 2001, the Red Deer Run, which is a one or five-km walk or run, has collected almost $2 million for the Breast Cancer Foundation.

This is the foundation’s largest single-day, volunteer-led event in Canada.

Red Deer’s record was in 2010 when $318,000 was raised.

The national fundraiser supports research and community health grants towards breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

‘A little love can go a long way,’ says a Red Deer opioid user who supports overdose prevention

The OPS means higher survival rates and less needle debris, he adds

Firefighters tackle blaze in Royal Canadian Legion building

Firefighters got call of light smoke about 4:25 p.m.

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Pearman: Bohemian Waxwings the consummate nomads

It is always a treat when a winter flock of Bohemian waxwings… Continue reading

Shots from stands, women’s 3-on-3 highlight NHL skills event

ST. LOUIS — Shooting pucks from the stands and some of the… Continue reading

Canada beats U.S. in 3-on-3 women’s game at NHL all-star skills competition

ST. LOUIS — Melodie Daoust and Rebecca Johnston scored to give Canada… Continue reading

Lowry, Siakam lead Raptors past Knicks for 6th straight win

Raptors 118 Knicks 112 NEW YORK — Kyle Lowry scored 26 points,… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Most Read