Consie Severson kick-starts Saturday’s Relay for Life with an energetic Zumba warmup in Polson Park.

Consie Severson kick-starts Saturday’s Relay for Life with an energetic Zumba warmup in Polson Park.

Common bond at relay

While cancer has touched the lives of so many, Kyla Grant is one of the lucky few.

Even though she’s never been personally affected by the disease, she still wanted to give back.

And Vernon’s Relay for Life provided the perfect opportunity to do so.

Surrounded by nearly 400 cancer survivors and supporters of finding a cure, Grant went under the razor at Polson Park Saturday.

Before the event, she had 32 inches of hair dangling down past her waist. Now, she barely has stubble.

“I’m completely bald. It’s nice, I’ve got a little breeze going on up here,” laughed the 23-year-old Armstrong mom.

No one believed Grant would actually cut the lovely locks she had treasured so dearly.

“Everybody was kind of in shock and awe,” said Grant. “My hair is my pride and joy.”

But when Grant thought about all of those who, on top of dealing with the pain of cancer and treatment, loose their own hair during chemotherapy, her heart went out to them.

“There was never a choice in the matter. You think of all the people who go through chemotherapy and they don’t actually get a choice.

“I think everybody should do it.”

Grant’s story of support is just one of hundreds that took place Saturday evening at the relay – which raised a record amount of $151,009, and is still climbing.

“It was the best event ever,” proclaims Sarah Pruckl, Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life co-ordinator.

“For me, it was quite emotional. You look at these people here that have come here because they want to find a cure.”

Even despite the event’s conflict with the game three of the Stanley Cup, just under 400 participants came out, including 120 cancer survivors.

Team Christy was the biggest supporter of the event – a team in memory of Christy Maygard, who died in November 2010 at just 26-years-old – raising $21,417.

Maygard’s sister, Kelsey Nudd, even made the top individual fundraiser, bringing in $13,900.

Entertainment and activities filled the park throughout the evening and prizes were awarded to top fundraisers and those with the most spirit.

The team Hell Bent Against Hodgkin’s won the grand prize, a houseboat vacation from Twin Anchors.

For anyone who missed out on the event and wants to help make a difference, donations are still being accepted at www.relayforlife.ca.