Imagine not one, not two, but three of your family members were diagnosed and lost to cancer. Between 2003 and 2011, the unimaginable became a reality for Linda Wong and her family as cancer took three of Linda’s five sisters.
“Cancer stole three of my sisters,” says Linda. “I want to make sure that no one else has to go through what we’ve gone through.”
Linda’s older sister Rita was the first to be diagnosed, in 1990, just six months after her daughter was born. She had surgery and treatment and remained healthy until 2006 when her cancer returned. Rita passed away in 2009.
Shortly after Rita’s initial diagnosis, the family learned that Doris – who was pregnant at the time – also had cancer. After a nine-year battle with the disease, Doris died in 2003.
In 2010, Shirley, the third-eldest, was diagnosed with the same cancer as her sister Doris. Shirley passed away in 2011.
The experience of losing her sisters motivated Linda to get involved with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. For more than 10 years, Linda and her teams have raised over $200,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society’s research and support programs.
“Too many of us losing loved ones to cancer,” says Linda. “I feel extremely lucky to have my health so I want to make sure I do everything in my power to support the Canadian Cancer Society.”
April is Daffodil Month – a chance to honour and remember loved ones and support people living with cancer. Money raised during Daffodil Month helps people living with cancer and their families in communities across Canada. Donations fund life-saving research, support services and other important work so that fewer Canadians are touched by the disease.
“I owe my strength to my sisters. Remembering how much each of them suffered motivates me to continue raising money. I cannot let anyone else endure the pain that my family has gone through,” adds Linda.
“Research is how we can win this fight. We need to ensure there is enough money donated to support research so my story doesn’t happen to any other families.”