Halton Regional Police were celebrating Friday night after one of their own civilian members completed a days-long journey across the province on foot to raise money for cancer research.
Mike Duhacek, ambassador for Cops for Cancer, kicked off his voyage in Owen Sound on Saturday for World Cancer Day, dragging a 200-pound sled that said “cancer” all the way to his final destination in Oakville, where he arrived Friday.
He was welcomed with open arms from family and colleagues. Duhacek then lifted and threw the hefty, wooden cancer sign in a grave at Halton police headquarters.
But it wasn’t his first time embarking on a trek like this one. Duhacek says 10 years ago he lost his grandparents to cancer. His mother also developed the disease.
“I wanted to turn that frustration into something positive, so we created ‘Help Me Bury Cancer,’ and loaded a sled with 125 pounds and dragged it from Windsor to Ottawa to help others the best I could,” Duhacek said of his prior effort.
“And now, 10 years later, my mom is standing beside me cancer free.”
Duhacek’s most recent feat is receiving praise from his colleague Const. Denise Jodhan, who is also a cancer survivor.
“Every step he’s taking is for me as well,” she said.
Allison Taylor-Misener with the Canadian Cancer Society says two in five Canadians are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
“That’s a statistic we’d like to see drastically change. And with the help (Mike is) giving us, that’s something that we’re hopeful for,” she said.
Duhacek has so far raised more than $17,000 for the Help Me Bury Cancer initiative.