July 28, 2014 4:11 pm
Updated: July 28, 2014 5:06 pm

Non-profit raises funds to directly support cancer patients

Stephanie Gagnon

TORONTO- GetRecD Events is a non-profit organization that hosts events to get people active while raising funds to directly support cancer patients.

Laura Daly is the founder of Get RecD events. She started the organization in 2003 with her brother Ryan and all funds raised go directly to patients via gas cards, grocery cards, house cleaning and nights out.

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“Get RecD is a non-profit organization and we host recreational and special events to get people active but at the same time raise funds that we can give directly to cancer patients.” Daly said.

Laura and her brother Ryan wanted to bring people together through sport while raising money for cancer. In their 4th year of operation Ryan was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away at the age of 29.

“I wonder what he would think right now and if he’s proud of us. And then I turn around and I see his lifelong friends here and I think yeah, this is exactly what is supposed to happen,” Daly said.

Mark Watson is a long time friend of the Daly family and he volunteers his time working in the organic garden. Located north of Newmarket, the farm sits contains healing plants that will assist in boosting the immune system, healing wounds, stimulating appetite and enhancing overall well-being.

“I’ve been collecting seeds for 20 years and always had the intention of educating people on different things to eat,” Watson said.

Community volunteers along with people living with cancer and their families are encouraged to help out in the gardens as it also acts as a therapeutic remedy. Damian Lastoria, a Get RecD recipient, was diagnosed with cancer a month ago and is now helping in the Get RecD organic garden.

“I was recently diagnosed, its not easy being 32 and getting it,” Lastoria said. “The symptoms are pretty good today, maybe it’s just being with people like this, it’s good.”

Get Recd generally supports young adults because they have numerous financial commitments and young children. By reliving some financial burden and household tasks, GetRecD hopes that the patients can better focus on their battle and give some relief to their caregivers as well.

“The everyday cancer patient needs the support and so we’d give them gas cards, grocery cards, we pay for daycare,” Daly said. “A patient of ours last year passed away and he was like me second brother, his name was Ryan and what he wanted to do was ensure that Get RecD got the recognition that it deserved because he could see the benefit it does to young adult cancer patients.”

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