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Sisters walk together as cancer survivors (16 photos)

Survivors lap a family affair at this year's Relay for Life

Nancy Turbin and Donna Rickard sit at a picnic table, waiting to walk the survivors lap - together, as sisters - at Rocky DiPietro Field during the 2018 Relay For Life.

The sisters have both had their own personal battles with cancer.

Turbin - who gets around with the use of walker these days - was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago, and was diagnosed with cancer in her uterine wall just four years ago.

“I had it twice, and I come here today not only for myself, but for many in our family that have had cancer, and some that have passed away with it, and some that are just learning they’re going to have cancer,” Turbin said.

The sisters know the damage cancer can exact.

Turbin says that there’s more than a dozen people in her family that have had cancer.

She says that she’ll be thinking about loved ones who have succumbed to cancer as she walks around the track Friday evening.

“It makes me feel very grateful that my cancer is doing well, and that I can be here for others as well - you know, maybe family members that have passed - and we don’t want to forget them,” said Turbin. “They went through maybe quite a trial, and you know what? We need to always remember them.”

While Turbin is on the mend after her battles with cancer, her sister is on the flip side of that same coin.

Rickard - who came to walk with her sister - says that while she currently lives with thyroid cancer, chemo treatment simply isn’t an option right now.

“At this point, they’re just leaving it because they said all my teeth would fall out and my jaw would draw if I had chemo,” she said. “So they’re just watching it and seeing how it’s going to progress.”

This year’s edition of Relay For Life aims to raise $110,000 through pledges, says committee member Judy Cruise.

She says that she’s hoping the event will reach its goal in order to help fund research both provincially and nationally.

“It’s just a chance to come together and show those people we are here for them, and we’re still working for them,” Cruise said. “It’s a great time.”

“It’s a great support for one another, knowing that we’re able to pull together and just be there for each other and support one another,” said Rickard. “Knowing that each one of them has gone through their own battles.”

When asked about the significance of the survivors lap the sisters are about to take part in, Turbin told SooToday that it’s important to be there for others who have been impacted by cancer.

“Feeling grateful that we still have another chance at life, and we can be here not only for ourselves, but for others that might need us along the way, and we can share our story,” Turbin said.

James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday based in Sault Ste. Marie
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