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Relay for Life celebrates survivors

By: Dave Baxter

Posted: 05/25/2018 8:45 AM

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100-year-old Dufresne resident Kai Winther is one of many cancer survivors who will take part in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life in Steinbach this Saturday.

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100-year-old Dufresne resident Kai Winther is one of many cancer survivors who will take part in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life in Steinbach this Saturday.

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When Kai Winther walks in the Relay for Life in Steinbach this weekend the 100-year-old will be celebrating the battle he fought and won against cancer, while also remembering and honouring those he loved who lost their battle to the disease.

Winther, who is preparing to celebrate his 101th birthday this summer, will be one of the many cancer survivors who will walk in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which takes place at the Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) this Saturday and will raise money for cancer research and care.

Winther said he recently fought his own battle with skin cancer, and said when he first found out he had cancer he decided he wasn’t going to give in to the disease without a fight.

"They cut a chunk off my nose and a chunk off my ear so they kept peeling away at me, but I’m a tough old guy so I wasn’t going down without a fight," he said.

Winther added that throughout his own cancer fight he remained positive and optimistic.

"I take things as they come, I make the best of things," Winther said. "If I’m given a lemon I add a little sugar and I make lemonade."

Winter has also watched as cancer has claimed the lives of two people he was closest with, as he has lost both his wife and one of his sons to the disease.

"I’ll be thinking about them when I’m walking," Winther said.

The Relay for Life in Steinbach sees teams of between one and 20 participants raise money for cancer research and then take part in the relay where participants can walk or run at the track that is set up at MHV.

"The event is all about raising funds for cancer, but it’s also about celebrating the survivors who have made it through, as well as being there for the families of those who did not make it through," Steinbach Relay for Life chairperson Angela Breen said.

Breen said that so far registration numbers have been strong for this year’s relay, but she added those who want to participate can still sign up teams online, or show up and sign up to take part on the day of the event when gates open at 1 p.m.

She added survivors are always asked to start off the relay while being led by members of the Steinbach Fire Department.

There will also be activities for families and kids to take part in during the event, Breen said.

"It is a fun filled day for the whole family," she said.

Breen said she has also been personally affected by cancer, and that is one of the reasons she has gotten involved in organizing the event.

"My sister-in-law just passed away in November from cancer, so I know how cancer can affect so many lives," Breen said.

Breen said the event last year raised approximately $87,000, and they hope to surpass that amount at this year’s relay.

The Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life in Steinbach takes place this Saturday at MHV from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. with gates opening at 1 p.m.

Anyone looking to sign up or get more information on the event can visit the Canadian Cancer Society Website at www.cancer.ca.

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