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Convoy for Hope – Atlantic raises awareness, money in fight against cancer

The 10th annual Convoy for Hope – Atlantic made its way through Moncton on Saturday. As Callum Smith reports, the event is put on by truckers with the goal of raising funds and awareness for cancer research, detection and prevention.

Convoy for Hope – Atlantic made its way through Moncton Saturday.

The event is put on by truckers to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, detection and prevention.

Many people driving or riding in the more than 30 trucks taking part have been impacted by cancer in one way or another.

“(Doctors) thought it was nothing and I insisted on them taking it out, and it was cancer,” says Eileen Walsh, a breast cancer survivor.

Her mother-in-law, Claudia Pineau, has also fought and beat breast cancer and says early detection is essential.

“Go through the checkups and be brave,” she says.

Eileen Walsh (left) and mother in-law Claudia Pineau are both Breast Cancer survivors.
Eileen Walsh (left) and mother in-law Claudia Pineau are both Breast Cancer survivors. Callum Smith / Global News

With people from across the Atlantic provinces and beyond coming out together, sharing stories is an important way to continue education.

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“We do it because both of our dads died of cancer; Brent’s was prostate, mine was lung,” says Gail MacLeod, who joined her husband for the event. “His mother is a breast cancer survivor, and my brother just went through lung cancer; he’s a survivor so far, so doing good.”

WATCH (June 8, 2019): N.B. man raising awareness of prostate cancer

N.B. man raising awareness of prostate cancer
N.B. man raising awareness of prostate cancer

And organizers say that’s why it’s so important to hold events like Convoy for Hope – Atlantic, to raise awareness and funds with the hope of eventually living in a cancer-free world.

“We have been raising funds for the last 10 years, celebrating the trucking industry while raising funds in the fight against breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer,” says co-organizer Jo-Anne Phillips. “These are the four cancers that most affect Canadians, and unfortunately those numbers are still the highest on the East Coast.”

Co-organizer Jo-Anne Phillips says cancer patients are getting better treatment and living longer as a result of more education and support.
Co-organizer Jo-Anne Phillips says cancer patients are getting better treatment and living longer as a result of more education and support. Callum Smith / Global News

Brent MacLeod, a truck driver from Salisbury who has been behind the wheel across North America for over 30 years, says despite the education, there’s a long way to go.

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“In my age group, there’s a lot of people who still haven’t (taken) that step to be tested,” he says.

With that, a simple but important message of getting tested to help early detection is vital.

“If there’s anything suspected, it should be checked out immediately,” says Darren Walsh, a volunteer driver for the event from Prince Edward Island.

More information can be found here.