What is success ? As a person fighting Bladder Cancer I must say that I am overwhelmed and so appreciative of family, friends, acquaintances and those who share commitment to community with me for the outstanding support and encouragement that I received as a coordinator of the Bladder Cancer Canada “walk” in Kenora September 21st. When I first heard of the Bladder Cancer Canada “walks” I reached out to see where the closest walk to Kenora was located. I was advised that it was Winnipeg, a two hour plus drive from my summer residence. So…it was then that I inquired about organizing a walk in Kenora. I was advised that if I felt that we could raise $5000, that a walk would be sanctioned in my home town. Well…the rest is a bit of  history. When I posted the original target goal of $5000, I was quite simply blown away by exceeding that overnight. After stepping it up by a couple of $5000 increments, an old friend of mine Walter Oster, from Canada’s National Sportsmens’ shows, suggested I set it high and go for it. Well, I exceeded my personal goal of $40,000 a couple of weeks back and the latest tally puts our Kenora Bladder Cancer Canada walk likely beyond $50,000.00. That is success !

What have I learned ? I’ve learned a lot but some highlights for sure. Firstly, along this journey I have learned that many “patients” are in need of the work that Bladder Cancer Canada carries out. They offer support for patients in a time of need, when feeling alone, when knowing not where to turn, who can answers questions, who’s experienced this situation a patient may find themself in. A testament to that was a woman named Marg in Kenora who said that she just did not know where to turn four years ago when faced with Bladder Cancer. She walked with her grandson in our walk and is “clear” after four years. Thanks for your story Marg !

Secondly I learned that we have a wonderful sense of community in Canada. I received support for the Kenora Bladder Cancer Canada walk from communities coast to coast to coast. After 30 years at Molson Coors Canada I am truly proud of the community that I have been involved with and the supportive giving friends and associates that I have come to know…some of them well…and some of them just there when I made the call. This sense of community is also supported by a loving, caring, supportive family. Thanks and I love you all so much ! I am also heartened by the support that I received in my home town of Kenora where folks of all ages stepped up to support the walk and reach out to their families and friends to help make a difference in raising awareness and support for Bladder Cancer Canada. It truly was an “all ages” walk and I feel good about awareness heightening as a result of that.

Thirdly, I am struck by the lack of awareness of Bladder Cancer Canada and the state of this disease as the fifth most common cancer in Canada and yet the 19th in rank of funding. The “treatments” that I have undergone are decades old. I can only hope and strive to see new and improved science and therapies approved soon for Canada, to help fight this cancer that unfortunately has a high rate of recurrence. Thanks to the support of the Bladder Cancer Canada walk in Kenora and 19 other communities speckled across this great land, we have moved the needle in awareness and support for unlocking opportunity in the fight against Bladder Cancer in Canada.

Thanks to David Guttman and Jack Moon, two Bladder Cancer survivors that had the vision, commitment and passion to start the Bladder Cancer Canada walks five years ago. Thanks to Tammy at “the office” for Bladder Cancer Canada for her tireless efforts. Thanks to the Best Western Lakeside for your space, the coffee and our starting point this morning. Thanks to the City of Kenora for proclaiming today Bladder Cancer Awareness Day. Thanks to the folks at Casey’s for donating $10.00 per luncheon entree sold today (plus) in support of our walk. Special thanks to the volunteers, our mascot Malone, those who walked in Kenora, the local and Winnipeg media for their awesome coverage and support in getting the story out and those of you who have contributed to the walk through donations or through inspiring words of encouragement. I look forward to continuing to work with Bladder Cancer Canada and YOU in fighting the good fight against Bladder Cancer and Cancer in general.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks all around. Cheers ! FERG  @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork @BladderCancerCA