Dex Corrigal wasn’t sure what to think when he arrived at Camp Goodtimes. His daughter Natalia was in the middle of cancer treatments and now the whole family was at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Camp Goodtimes — and a member of the medical team was asking him to hand over Natalia’s medications and treatment schedule.
“My wife Christa and I had basically become full time nurses, and the camp staff said, ‘That’s our job now, you just go have fun.’ It was scary!”
But the family did as they were told, and were soon immersed in the camp’s archery course. After a few hours, a member of the Camp Goodtimes medical team pulled up in a golf cart with two pills for Natalia, right on schedule.
“You don’t realize the intense pressure you’ve been under. That first day at camp, we thought, holy cow, there’s some hope out there.”
Fundraising for Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock
Natalia finished cancer treatments in 2016, and she and her sister Annabel continue to visit Camp Goodtimes.
“Everyone’s included. There’s something for everyone, and it’s very supportive. None of the campers actually know who’s in treatment, who’s a sibling or what anyone’s health needs are,” she says.
The family has also gotten heavily involved with Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, the annual fundraiser that supports childhood cancer research and support services like Camp Goodtimes. Law enforcement and emergency services personnel will cycle from Port Alice to Sooke starting Sept. 23, and Natalia and Annabel will ride with them during their visit to Campbell River schools.
“Every rider we’ve met has become very special to us,” mom Christa says. “When Natalia has her annual check-up, the riders will check in. They really care about her health, her future, and they want to see both Annabel and Natalia flourish.”
The Corrigals know other children who received a diagnosis similar to Natalia’s who have since passed away, but they also know people still thriving in their 30s, after receiving similar treatment as children.
“Scientists haven’t figured out why the treatment works for some and not for others, which is why we need to fund more research,” Christa says. “We’re also getting closer to finding treatments that are so much less invasive.”
Donations make a difference
Cops for Cancer has raised $52 million through cycling tours and other fundraising events over the past decade. Thanks, in part, to advancements in cancer research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate from childhood cancer has improved by 13 per cent. But cancer is still the number one cause of disease-related death in Canadian children, so funding further research is still incredibly important. Proceeds from Cops for Cancer fundraisers also fund caring support programs like Camp Goodtimes, which help families thrive for decades to come.
Cops for Cancer 2023 presenting sponsor Applewood Auto Group is proudly providing support vehicles for each tour and joining the fundraising efforts with a company-wide head shave challenge. A portion of proceeds from all September vehicle sales will also be donated to Cops for Cancer.
How to help:
- Donate: Support a participant, or give a general donation to Cops for Cancer.
- Support the raffle: Win a Rocky Mountaineer journey, WestJet flights or a Vancouver Luxury Weekend. Purchase tickets at rafflebox.ca/raffle/ccs-bc.
- Cheer on the riders: Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter) for daily updates, and cheer on participants when they ride through your community!