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Kamsack's Victoria School students help fight against cancer

Students of the school walked through the community to help raise awareness of the Terry Fox initiatives to raise money to fight cancer.

KAMSACK — Prior to embarking on their Terry Fox parade through the community on Sept. 16 to help raise funds to fight cancer, students of the Victoria School in Kamsack assembled in the school gymnasium where they recognized one of their own students who has been fighting the disease.

The students had greeted Zarah Gouge, a Grade 2 student, and her mother Britney Durell at the assembly and watched a brief slide and video presentation that highlighted Zarah’s fight with cancer.

Zarah was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 16 months of age and had to spend most of her childhood in hospitals, her mother explained in the video. “But, she’s a pretty strong little girl.”

Students of the school will be walking through the community to help raise awareness of the Terry Fox initiatives to raise money to fight cancer, Karie Thomas, who began her 10th year as principal of the school, said. In addition, the students will be raising funds with a hotdog sale at noon.

Britney Durell, who along with her daughter, was wearing a yellow T-shirt with “Believe in the Gold” insignia printed on it, was eager to discuss the organization that deals with childhood cancer.

When Zarah was fighting with cancer, the doctors only had the medications and treatments that are used by adults, Durell said, adding that the Believe in the Gold organization focuses on childhood cancer.

She explained that last year she and her family and friends raised $6,000 for Believe in the Gold, and this year they’ve already raised $4,000 by involving themselves in various activities, including walks and raffles.

A native of Melfort, Durell said that she is trying to get Kamsack residents more interested in Believe in the Gold, which is a charitable foundation dedicated to the children.

“We are committed to raising awareness about childhood cancer, raising funds to help support families with medical expenses that are not covered by provincial health care or extended benefit plans, and raising funds for childhood cancer research,” says its webpage.

“Childhood cancer does not discriminate; it can happen to anyone,” it says. “It is the number one disease killer of children in the world. Childhood cancer claims the lives of more children annually than asthma, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and AIDS combined.

“Believe in the Gold aims to change these statistics and see fewer children affected by childhood cancer,” it says. “We are working towards this goal by increasing awareness and raising funds for groundbreaking pediatric cancer research and treatments.

“Believe in the Gold is the legacy of Jacey Uphill, who passed away from Ewings Sarcoma in October 2012. While isolated in a hospital room Jacey claimed the word, “Believe” as her personal mantra. Throughout her battle with this unrelenting disease, she remained positive and was determined to make a difference. She wanted there to be increased awareness around childhood cancer. She felt that the gold ribbon needed to be more recognizable as the symbol for childhood cancer.

“Despite the harsh realities, she endured each day during her treatment. She remained active in the community raising awareness about childhood cancer and how it affects children and their families. From this, Jacey’s mother, Shonalie, founded Believe in the Gold to carry on Jacey’s dream.”

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