Cancer luncheon feeds hope

Keith Halliday pointed to the bald patch on the back of his head. That’s “the radiation spot,” he said. Halliday beat cancer.

Keith Halliday pointed to the bald patch on the back of his head.

That’s “the radiation spot,” he said.

Halliday beat cancer.

And he was at the Cancer Society’s daffodil luncheon on Thursday to say, “Thanks.”

“Sometimes I think we suffer from cancer-fundraising fatigue,” he said.

“This has been going on for years, this cancer thing.”

Just after he was diagnosed, Halliday ran into an old friend at Food Fair.

“We had the classic Yukon conversation,” he said.

Halliday asked his friend how he was doing, and learned the transmission was gone in his friend’s pick-up.

“Yeah, I’ve got cancer,” said Halliday.

And the friend responded, “Man, cancer — haven’t they cured that yet?”

People have seen so many TV ads and bought so many daffodils, they’re ready for results, said Halliday.

“But the message I really want to tell you is a message of hope, because for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a few other kinds of cancer they actually use the word cure.

“They cure 80 to 90 per cent of folks. And the work you’re doing here as volunteers, as fundraisers, as people who are coming out to lunch and paying a few bucks, is really, really important.”

It was the territory’s first daffodil lunch in five years, and the Westmark ballroom was packed.

“They asked me during my job interview last June if I would bring back the lunch,” said Cancer Society regional manager Scott Kent.

“And I told them I would, so I didn’t have much choice,” he said with a laugh.

After plates were loaded with roast beef and potatoes, Vancouver’s Dr. Calvin Roskelley took the podium.

The breast cancer specialist promised to speak in lay terms, while explaining his research.

That lasted about five minutes.

The gist of it  — Roskelley is attacking cancer through the backdoor.

Instead of fighting just the tumours, he is mapping where cancerous genes travel, and developing treatments to stop the growth.

“I’m looking at roadblocks,” said Roskelley.

“Most cancer research is focused on cell growth and division. There aren’t many good models of cells breaking away and spreading.”

Roskelley has been researching cancer for more than 20 years.

As a student, his work was partially funded by the cancer society.

Then he moved to the US.

But south of the border, funding was scarce.

And Roskelley came back.

“I can’t say I came back just for the funding,” he said.

“But money from daffodil sales and relays was a big part of it.”

The Yukon Cancer Society made between $4,000 and $5,000 at Thursday’s luncheon, said Kent.

And with relays, the society has earned more than $160,000.

“A total of $300,000 for cancer research has come out of the Yukon,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. At Whitehorse city council’s March 1 meeting, members were presented with a bylaw that would repeal 10 bylaws deemed to be redundant or out of date. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Out with the old

Council considers repealing outdated bylaws

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read