Thursday, 7 April 2011

Daffodil Month - Fight Cancer and Genetics One Flower at a Time

For as long as I can remember we have bought a big bouquet of daffodils every April to support the Canadian Cancer Society. I remember during my early elementary school years accompanying my Mom on walks around the neighbourhood canvessing and collecting daffodil orders. It felt like we were always greeted with a smile at each door we knocked on, and that smile was usually accompanied by a donation. This fact made a profound impact on me; to see all these neighbours, friends, and family members who had all been affected by cancer in one way or another left a lasting impression. Who could have known almost 20 years later how deeply cancer would permeate our own personal family life, and how these daffodils would become a personal symbol of courage and defiance for both me and my family.

"Every 3 minutes a Canadian is faced with fighting cancer". This is just one of the stats featured on the Canadian Cancer Society's website, but by buying daffodils we are all entering that fight with them. Donations collected during the month of April will be used to support people living with cancer, fund research to outsmart cancer, and to prevent cancer before it even starts. As a supporter of the CCS's mission I have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out where I could get one of those daffodil pins. Luckily my husband stumbled upon them last week at work, because the PR campaigne for these things is less than stellar. April 27th is supposed to be Daffodil Day, and everyone is supposed to show their unity and support by taking a stand against cancer and wearing one of these pins. However, you can only find these pins in approximately 7 mildly obsure stores (or at least ones that I do not frequent often). The Brick, Laura's, First Choice Haircutters, Wireless Wave, Booth Wireless, CAA, and Scotiabank are all carrying them. (Admittedly Scotiabank is not obsure, but I am an RBC customer) Anyways, if you are like me and you are looking for them, those are you key locations. You can also go to http://www.fightback.ca/  and they have this handy mapping feature that helps find a location nearest you - which of course I realized after I had already found one!

Because I am fighting back!
Today on my way home from the library, I saw one the CCS's volunteers canvessing the neighbourhood and I simply could not resist those bright yellow happy buds. I personally have always thought daffodils were kind of goofy looking, although I am not sure why. I think it might have something to do with the characterization of the daffodil in Disney's Alice In Wonderland - that dopey daffodil has always stuck with me. But looking at these little blooms today I felt differently about them. Daffodils are always one of the first flowers to pop up after a long cold winter, which I feel is somewhat defiant and also very appropriate as a designated symbol for the battle against cancer.  Because after a long, dark, and cold experience these little blooms burst out of the ground to remind us that better times are ahead and that they have not been beaten by those harsh conditions. They are quite simply a symbol of LIFE! Their yellow colour is bold and cheerful; resisting those grim thoughts that come to mind when talking about the "C" word. The Cancer Society describes the daffodil as a symbol of courage and strength. It says that we will not give up! It says that we will fight back! And it says that one day we will beat cancer! Seeing those daffodils today seems to speak to everything I felt, and everything this Darwinian fail hopes for in the fight against cancer and my own battle against genetics. So this is one girl who will be wearing my daffodil loud and proud this month!

Talk to you all again soon!
Your favourite Darwinian fail,
Krysten