Oak Bay High students hang cheer in cancer lodge

Youth Against Cancer club returns for annual decorating spree

Hannah Reiter and Marissa Louie hang garland around a mirror at the Canadian Cancer Society Lodge. The Oak Bay High students lead the school’s Youth Against Cancer club

Hannah Reiter and Marissa Louie hang garland around a mirror at the Canadian Cancer Society Lodge. The Oak Bay High students lead the school’s Youth Against Cancer club

Mirrors bedecked with garland and doors adorned with poster-size holiday artwork make a little more merry at the local cancer lodge.

Oak Bay High’s Youth Against Cancer club happily hung the holidays and delivered handmade cards for each guest at the Canadian Cancer Society Lodge near Royal Jubilee Hospital this Christmas season.

“This is amazing. The spirit and hope it gives to the residents is incredible,” said Debi Dempsey, annual giving co-ordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society. “To think it’s a group of young leaders of tomorrow, and the hope it gives our residents, it’s really the spirit of Christmas.”

About 90 guests are expected to use the lodge while undergoing cancer treatment this month, filling the 21 rooms decorated by Youth Against Cancer, led by Marissa Louie and Hannah Reiter.

“I had a family member fight cancer when I was younger, but fortunately she was able to overcome it,” said Louie. “It’s one thing to raise lots of money, that’s important. This is different. You get to experience the joy of the patients. We might not get to see them, but we know.”

Reiter, also has the all-too-common personal connections to cancer – a friend’s father recently died. “I wanted to provide support and help people,” Reiter said. “Decorating here helps people have a brighter Christmas.”