Snowboarders do their best to Shred Cancer
Shred Cancer participants wearing white Shred Cancer: I Ride for Paige sleeveless T-shirts board at Horseshoe Resort Saturday to raise money for the Paige Doucette Foundation for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Photo submitted by Iden Ford
Seventy-five snowboarders and skiers riding together wearing “Shred Cancer — I Ride for Paige” shirts made a spectacular sight Saturday at Horseshoe Resort.
The snow-sliding community wasn’t just having fun, also raising money for cancer and honouring the life Paige Doucette, who died of cancer Dec. 1, 2012, at the age of 19.
“I am so overjoyed that we have become part of this. We are so appreciative. It keeps our daughter’s memory alive and that’s what is important to us,” said Wayne Doucette, Paige’s father, who took part in the event with the rest of his family.
This year marked the third Shred Cancer. It was founded in 2012 by then Grade 7 student Tyler Hopper as a school project based on the Pay It Forward movie and social movement.
“I mixed something that I was really passionate about — cancer — with something I like to do — snowboarding — and made Shred Cancer,” said Hopper, now 14, who lives in Horseshoe Valley.
The first year, Hopper was part of a small group of 10 snowboarders who raised $1,600 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Through Horseshoe Resort, Hopper got to know about Paige and met her family and her friend, Ali Egger, an instructor at Horseshoe and resident of Oro-Medonte Township.
Paige died from a rare and aggressive form of cancer, referred to as fibrolamellar HCC. She was about to start her second year of communications at McMaster University. She loved life, was talkative, social and enjoyed music and snowboarding, according to the bio on the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) website.
“Paige was my best friend and I didn’t want people to forget her and I wanted to keep the memory of her going, so doing this and helping families was the best way to do it and be involved in the community,” Egger said.
In 2013, Shred Cancer joined forces with the Paige Doucette Foundation to help expand the fight against cancer and it raised $6,000 for RVH.
Paula Beech, Hopper’s mother, said, “It’s evolving faster than we ever anticipated.”
“Our goal this year was $10,000 and it looks like we are going to reach that with the silent auction and online donations,” she said.
Beech is an elementary-school teacher and she sees how the project has helped Hopper mature.
“When you see these kids grow as individuals, it’s nice to motivate them to do that. You give them the opportunity and they run with it,” she said.
Hopper and Egger both said they will host the event again next year on March 21.
“(Cancer) is something that is pretty close to me, like how it’s affected Paige and Wayne and their family,” Hopper said. “My stepfather’s dad passed away last year due to cancer. It was a big thing for us to lose him. I see how it affects everyone else. Cancer affects one in three people.”
Those interested in making a donation can do so at paigedoucette.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1062336.