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

Just Posted

Alberta Culture Days coming next weekend to Red Deer area

Lots of artistic activites and shows for all ages

Truck crashes into Red Deer pub

Driver arrested and faces charges

Red Deer teachers are trained in dealing with students that strike

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools reported 39 “staff physical contact incidents” in one year

Assault charge dropped against man accused of beating baby

Crown prosecutor says no likelihood of conviction in 2016 case

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as… Continue reading

Tiger Woods winning adds to Ryder Cup buzz

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Already the most intense competition in golf, the Ryder… Continue reading

Ex-Sabres captain Brian Gionta retires after 16 NHL seasons

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Brian Gionta has retired after 16 NHL seasons, two… Continue reading

Curling season kicks off after massive shake-up of multiple men’s teams

With so many top Canadian men’s curling teams opening this season with… Continue reading

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

OTTAWA — Newly released figures show Canadian officials have removed only a… Continue reading

Texas prisons often deny dentures to inmates with no teeth

HOUSTON — Inmates without teeth in Texas are routinely denied dentures because… Continue reading

Sex assault charge stayed against one British sailor, trial proceeds for other

HALIFAX — The Crown has stayed a sexual assault charge against a… Continue reading

Most Read