Martin C. Barry
With the month of April nearly here – traditionally the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month – public officials from Laval and the North Shore regions gathered at Cité de la Santé hospital in Laval last week for the official of this year’s Daffodil Campaign.
Daffodils for sale
In the Laval and Lanaudière regions, hundreds of fresh-cut daffodils will be going on sale through a network of 1,000 volunteers stationed at 100 points of sale in banks, food stores, senior citizens’ centres and at some businesses. Across the province, nearly two million daffodils will be sold by 20,000 volunteers at a total of 1,800 locations.
For the fourth year, Quebec radio and TV hostess Josée Boudreault will be the official spokesperson for the Daffodil Campaign in this province. “My mother died from lung cancer three years ago a few months before the birth of my daughter, Flavie,” says Boudreault.
“I am hopeful that one day those we love won’t die from lung cancer as my mother did. Support those who are afflicted by cancer. Buy flowers or offer them. That’s a good way to support research against cancer, to support prevention efforts, while giving hope to those who are presently living with this disease.”
Show your support
The Cancer Society says there are a number of things members of the public can do to show their support: buying daffodils between March 30 and April 2 (they are 3 for $5 or 10 for $10); proudly wearing the Cancer Society’s daffodil pin throughout April (they are sold in the same places where the flowers are available or at the Cancer Society’s regional offices).
“People afflicted by cancer want support and want to be heard,” Vimont MNA Jean Rousselle, who is supporting the campaign but was unable personally to attend the launch, said in a statement. “Every day, 370 Quebecers turn to the CCS for support, information and for means to prevent cancer,” added Rousselle, who has taken part in the local Daffodil Campaign for five years. “Last year, 49,500 Quebecers were told they had cancer.”
Support on the North Shore
On the North Shore in the Deux-Montagnes area, local MNA Benoit Charette has taken on the task of being honorary chairman of the regional Daffodil Campaign. “I encourage all the population of the MRC to show support and to buy daffodils from March 30 to April 2 so that the CCS can be there for those and those around them,” he said.
Also from the North Shore, Bois-des-Filion mayor Paul Larocque is supporting this year’s Daffodil Campaign and is serving as honorary president in his region. “I would like to note that I consider this daffodil campaign to be very important for getting our citizens to take concrete actions, whether it’s having fresh flowers at city hall, or wearing the daffodil pin,” he said, while pointing out that he will be serving as a volunteer selling daffodils at a kiosk. “I hope that we are more numerous in 2017 to demonstrate our support for this big cause.”
Rising cancer survival rates
Based on statistics alone, it’s evident that the money raised from the annual Daffodil Campaign is saving lives. Today, according to the CCS, 63 per cent of people who have been told “you have cancer” are alive five years later. As well, for some forms of cancer survival is even better. The survival rate for infant cancers is 82 per cent, breast cancer 88 per cent, prostate cancer 96 per cent and testicular cancer 97 per cent.
Comparatively, during the 1940s the overall survival rate for cancer was 25 per cent. And the CCS points out that a good deal of work remains to be done. Today, every 26 minutes a Quebecer dies of cancer, 50,000 Quebecers learn they have cancer each year, and cancer remains responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths in Quebec.