Cancer sucks. No point beating around the bush. It’s a reality. Each one of us has been touched by this terrible disease directly or indirectly. If you, like me, have been lucky enough not to have lost someone in your immediate family to cancer, then chances are you probably know someone close to you who have: a neighbour, a friend, a teacher, a colleague or a distant relative.
In the past decade, I have lost a school friend and family friends, and watched close friends grieve while they lost their parents, and I thank God that my own family is healthy.
Today is Daffodil Day – the Cancer Council’s annual national fund-raising day. The daffodil signifies the arrival of spring, new life, vitality and growth which makes it the perfect symbol of hope for all those who have been affected by cancer.
2016 marks the 30th anniversary of Daffodil Day and my first time volunteering to help sell their merchandise in my local mall. I had been looking forward to this day for weeks and it proved as fruitful as I had hoped.
My “buddy” for the day was Angela. We got off to a slow start – I suddenly became acutely aware of how other street vendors feel when they are trying to drum up sales accosting passersby. Giving everyone our best smiles, we said “Good morning” as busy shoppers walked by. “Would you like to support the Cancer Council?” Most ignored us and continued walking. Occasionally, someone would actually give us eye contact and smile back and we would whoop for joy.
There were also many incidents of other men and women who chased after us just to make a donation and to offer a smile of thanks. My favourite words of the day: “Keep the change”, “I just want to make a donation”, “Thank you for volunteering”. All of these made the seven hours of walking up and down the mall completely worth it.
If you would like to help support the Cancer Council and find out more about their work, it is not too late. Click here to donate and here to find out where your donations go. And always remember, it doesn’t cost you anything to return a smile.