A local couple raised almost $38,000 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (ACHF) during their annual charity golf tournament Sept. 11.
This year marked the 11th Kids Curing Kids Classic at Woodside Golf Course. According to organizers Jan Morrison and her husband Bruce, their motivation to fundraise stems back to November 2001, when their then-six-year-old son Dallas was diagnosed with leukemia.
“Our family believes we wouldn’t be here today had it not been for the generosity of all Canadians, especially cancer research and cancer fundraising,” Morrison said. “We believe it’s our turn to pass that on to other families, since we know what they’re going through.”
For nearly three years, Bruce said, Dallas went through daily chemotherapy as he battled the disease.
“It just makes you realize what’s important in your lives, and how blessed we are to have a health system like we have to help kids with cancer,” he said.
Despite the challenges, the family never felt alone during the fight, Morrison said, and they took the devastating diagnosis and tried to turn it into a positive experience.
“When our son got cancer, [Airdronians] were so supportive and were there for us,” she said.
“We just had a lot of support, so we started our own foundation called Kids Curing Kids,” Bruce added. “It’s about giving back.”
Kids Curing Kids was founded in 2003, and since then, the Morrisons have raised funds for numerous causes. One focus of the foundation, however, remains cancer research.
According to ACHF vice-president Liz Ballendine, the Morrisons have raised nearly $300,000 for the organization since 2012.
“We’re so grateful to people like the Morrisons, who not only give their time, but also raise money to support us,” she said. “We certainly don’t take it for granted; we know it’s a lot of effort creating and running events on our behalf.”
Ballendine added the money raised by the Morrisons has helped support children with cancer.
Nearly 20 years after his diagnosis, Dallas is in full remission, and Morrison said her son’s life is a continual motivator to give back.
“I get up every day, and I see my son every day, and I thank God every day that I get to look at him,” she said. “Even though you think time makes the heart heal, I will never forget the day they told me he had cancer.
“For us, it’s important to know that every day, people are giving back, trying to make it a better system, trying to make treatment less harsh, trying to make survival rates much higher. Because, no matter what, we all – every single person – will be touched by cancer.”
Whether it’s donating cash, volunteering or giving blood, Bruce said, everybody can contribute to their community in some capacity.“If you want to get involved and you want to make a difference, anybody can do it,” he said.