From left to right: Aiden, Dianne and Keegan Small all participated in Play for a Cure, a hockey fundraiser for the B.C. Cancer Foundation. (Photos courtesy Dianne Small)

Play for the Cure gathers momentum after games in Colwood

Initial event Jan. 4 raises more than $3,000

Rick Stiebel/News staff

Buoyed by the community’s outpouring of support for her first fundraiser, Dianne Small is determined to take her efforts to a higher level.

The Colwood resident initially organized Play for the Cure, which took place Jan. 4 at The Q Centre, as a one-time event to help families dealing with cancer.

Play for the Cure featured a Victoria Grizzlies hockey game and a Juan de Fuca midget exhibition game and raised more than $3,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation.

“I want to thank everyone who came out to the games,” Small said. “The support from the hockey community was absolutely overwhelming.”

The event featured a family connection with her son, Keegan playing for the Grizzlies and his brother, Aiden, refereeing the game. “I was struck by their level of support,” Small noted. “Aiden got his referee friends and colleagues to donate their fees, and Keegan rallied the troops.” His teammates wore stickers dedicated to cancer patients, survivors and their families.

READ MORE: ‘Hockey mom’ diagnosed with cancer starts Play for a Cure

Small was also pleasantly surprised when REFcore Canada, a sports apparel company that donated $100 to the cause, contacted her this week with a plan to sell Play for the Cure T-shirts to raise more funds.

“It was totally unexpected and I’m deeply grateful,” Small said. “Tom Morrissey, a singer-songwriter from Newfoundland who moved to Victoria and sang at the game, is talking to some of his friends in the music business about a Play for the Cure event as well. So many people have offered support and fundraising ideas. There’s a real opportunity for what started out as an event this year to get legs and really turn into a movement.”

Play for the Cure is also a source of inspiration for Small in dealing with her own terminal breast cancer diagnosis. “It’s a real motivation,” she explained. She is busy working on developing a website where people can find out more about Play for the Cure and its goals to support families dealing with the effects of a cancer diagnosis.

“Whether it’s issuing a challenge to other associations or helping organize an event, it’s another step in continuing the battle.”

Although she was initially told she had between three months and two years to live, Small is determined to beat the odds. “My oncologist has indicated that she’ll be treating me through 2019 and into 2020. It’s much better than the original prognosis, but I respectfully disagree. I plan on being here a lot longer.”

For more on how to order a Play for the Cure shirt, email REFcore Canada at refcore@icloud.com.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


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