Cancer survivor dedicates 25 years to fundraising for the cause

A friend's request to lend a hand was all it took to launch Rosaleen Mahoney's lifelong crusade of raising money for the fight against cancer.

The resident of Summerside, P.E.I., and cancer survivor said she has devoted 25 years to the cause, starting with door to door collecting before taking on other volunteer duties with the P.E.I. Division of the Canadian Cancer Society.

"There's so many people affected. I had many of my family members that have been affected by cancer and [I] just wanted to do something to help."

Touched by cancer

And she's not alone. Mahoney said most people have been touched by cancer, either through their family or friends or like her, have had cancer themselves.

It is something she sees and hears when she volunteers her time with the annual cancer society Daffodil Month campaign. She will help to distribute the 8,000 bunches of daffodils that arrived in P.E.I. Monday.

The daffodils go on sale Wednesday for the 60th anniversary of the campaign.  

"I think with the daffodils, they love getting that fresh bunch of flowers this time of the year when we're still seeing snow on the ground," she said. "It just brings a little bit of hope and sunshine to their lives."

Flowers give hope

"And when they connect it to cancer, I think it does give them hope...that we'll eventually eradicate this disease."

This year, Mahoney will be selling the daffodils in memory of three friends who lost their fight with cancer in the past year.

Executive Director Marlene Mulligan said the national campaign helps raise the awareness of the fight against cancer.

"The funds [raised] in P.E.I. annually is still annually well over $100,000 during April, during daffodil month."

Mulligan added the funds are raised through the sale of the daffodils, daffodil pins and door-to-door canvassing with the help of 550 to 600 volunteers across P.E.I.

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