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Local support group walks all over cancer

Organizers and participants gather for the Walk All Over Cancer event. (Carson Ellis photo.)

By Carson Ellis

For the Stettler Independent

The Stettler Cancer Support group held an awareness walk on Saturday, March 23. The event was in hopes of raising awareness of the group.

Wendy Keith, Connie Cox, and Ellie Walker started the Stettler Cancer Support Group. The group was started after Keith had posted on Stettler Connections looking for feedback on the idea. The post received an overwhelming response, and the three of them quickly started putting something together.

The walk started at No Frills with Town of Stettler Mayor Sean Nolls and County of Stettler Reeve Larry Clarke, who were in attendance. Many of the participants either had or survived cancer or were directly affected by someone who had. Spirits were high despite the cold weather with many participants carrying signs of support.

Cox addressed the crowd at the start of the event. In her address, she explained how the walk was in honour of those who had been taken, are fighting, and are survivors. She said it was also for family and friends who supported them. Cox also expressed her appreciation for the doctors, nurses, oncologists, and “all the medical staff who support us.”

Mayor Nolls thanked everyone for coming out and showing their support. He said support for such an event was important since those who may not have been affected by cancer know someone who was. Reeve Clarke spoke of how cancer does not discriminate and such events helped raise awareness and showed others our support.

Reverend Ross Helgeton extended his appreciation to the organizers for inviting him and putting the event together. He explained that cancer can do many things to people, but it does not have to define them. He then led the group in a prayer before the walk began.

When participants approached Wells Furniture, they were invited to take a moment to enjoy donuts, Timbits, bottled water, and coffee supplied by local sponsors. Participants were also allowed to slip into the store if they wanted to warm up for a few moments, if they chose.

The walk continued to the end of Main Street. At this point, participants crossed to the other side and made the return trip back down. The event terminated in front of Wells Furniture, where everyone was invited once again to enjoy refreshments and visit.

Clarke remarked that it was a wonderful turnout “showing where people’s thoughts are.” He said he hopes the group stays together.

Nolls said it was “good to see the community come together.”

They both agreed that it made a difference for the group to know their community was, in fact, behind them.

The Stettler Cancer Support Group meets on the first Thursday of the month. There is an afternoon meeting held at the offices of the Stettler Family and Community Support Services as well as an evening session held at the Stettler Regional Board of Trade offices.

They also have a private group on Facebook under Stettler Cancer Support Group-Courageous Together.

Participants carry signs during Walk All Over Cancer for Stettler Cancer Support Group. (Carson Ellis photo)
Event organizer Connie Cox gets a show of support as she addresses the crowd. Mayor Sean Nolls, Reeve Larry Clarke, and Reverend Ross Helgeton look on. (Carson Ellis photo)