FREDERICTON – The speaker of New Brunswick’s legislature says there needs to be an increased concentration on childhood cancer research.
Chris Collins says his family was the one in 300 struck by childhood cancer. He lost his son, Sean, to a soft-tissue cancer eight years ago.
“To have a reality where you’re excited about chemo dripping through your child’s body so that they can fight the cancer, that type of reality is something that I lived and my wife lived,” he said.
In his role as speaker of the legislature, Collins says this is the cause he’s chosen to speak up on. He’ll be welcoming cyclists to the legislature Wednesday evening who are riding to raise money for childhood cancer research.
“People need to understand that this is not a rare disease, that this happens to children. That we have to fight it and that we have to allocate more resources to it,” he said.
Collins says too little of the money raised for cancer research goes to researching childhood cancers. He says childhood cancers get about four per cent of research money, when children make up 20 per cent of the population.
Collins cycled across Canada in 2013 as part of the Sears National Kids Canada Ride.
“By next year, I’m hoping that my son’s legacy will have raised $1 million going directly towards children’s cancer,” he said.
He says his son would expect him to continue pushing for change.
“He would be determined and say, ‘Come on dad, don’t forget this point and don’t forget that point,'” he said.
“He would be kicking my butt everyday that I didn’t say something.”