The Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser.

relay for life walk

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is a nationwide event, with thousands of participants returning year after year. Supporters and survivors alike come out in teams to circle the track and pass on the baton to their teammates, encouraging each other for their 24-hour journey. This year, here at Elevate Magazine we’re excited to be part of a media relay, where together with other Canadian online platforms, we’re able to help share the stories of cancer survivors and those affected by the disease. We’re receiving the baton from Niagara this Week, and you can read their story here.

Cancer touches the lives of thousands, and we know that this is something our readers can relate to in some way. Today, we’re sharing Mary-Jane Jarvis’ story in hopes of inspiring you, and to let you know that if you or someone you love is experiencing cancer, you’re not alone.

relay for life banner

Elevate Magazine: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your story?

Mary-Jane Jarvis: I’m a born and raised Canadian from a mining town Northern Ontario. I work in Information Technology, am a professional musician and love to be outside – even if only to weed my garden. Cancer took my father, my best friend, an office teammate and now my sister is fighting Lymphoma.

In 2001 Relay For Life caught my attention because it was something a group of friends, family and workmates could do together. We could actively combat the feeling of helplessness as cancer took its toll. It’s now been 15 years, and every year the team welcomes new members and thankfully new survivors to spend the night together remembering and celebrating.

relay for life balloons

EM: Why did you want to participate in this media relay?

MJJ: I think that word-of-mouth and stories from ordinary people win new participants and push fundraising to new heights. Fundraising is intimidating, but when you can do it as a team, I think it’s less daunting. This media relay is a great way to get ordinary but inspiring stories out to potential Relay For Life-ers.

EM: What advice do you have for anyone in a support position to someone undergoing cancer treatments?

MJJ: Now this role I have some experience with! My advice is to be a good listener. Resist the temptation to offer advice or share stories of other cancer fighters. We don’t know what it’s like, so we shouldn’t say that we do. My sister tells me the last thing she wants to hear about other is remedies and possible treatments. Everyone is different, so it makes support tricky.