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99-year-old Victoria cancer survivor says small donations make a big difference

As an avid volunteer, Elizabeth Laugharne, has been working with BC Cancer - Victoria for years
Elizabeth Laugharne is a supporter of small donations, students and time to work on important causes like helping BC Cancer - Victoria. (Courtesy of Jordan McClymont)

One British Columbia resident is sharing the importance of donating to important causes - even a little at a time.

At 99 years old, Elizabeth Laugharne has spent much of her life donating time and resources to BC Cancer - Victoria, all in the hopes of supporting research and cures for cancer.

And maybe convincing others to do the same.

As a survivor of endometrial cancer, Laugharne has seen up close the devastation serious illnesses such as cancer can cause. She has also lost family members to cancer.

Cancer remains one of the most pervasive health crises facing Canadians. In 2022, the Canadian Cancer Society estimated that 641 people were diagnosed with cancer every day and one out of four Canadians will die from it. That’s why Laugharne believes the contributions of repeat donors are so important, no matter how small they are.

While large donors are often praised for their contributions, Laugharne said there are some people who give what they can over extended periods of time. This can come in the form of money, but also time and expertise.

Laugharne herself has given countless hours to BC Cancer - Victoria, picking up the odd jobs others couldn’t and dedicating her knowledge from years of working in health care.

She will turn 100 this year and has been working to bring cancer research and care one step closer to cures and many steps closer to patient care for over 25 years.

BC Cancer - Victoria supports thousands of patients every year but Jordan McClymont, senior development officer at the BC Cancer Foundation, said there are still people who have to go over to Vancouver for treatment.

Still, small-time donors of both time and money make receiving care closer to home a reality for many people.

Laugharne is also an advocate for promoting the next generation of researchers and has worked to make internships a reality in cancer research. She was instrumental in launching BC Cancer’s Xavier Pelletier High School Internship Program

“We have lots of things to learn as yet, about disease and health, but we have to have people who will help us do that,” Laugharne said. “If we don’t interest people and prepare them to do so, one of these days we will run out of researchers.”

READ MORE: B.C. senior walks from Calgary to Vancouver raising money for cancer research


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Hollie Ferguson

About the Author: Hollie Ferguson

Hollie moved to Victoria from Virginia in September 2022 with her partner Zachary and their two pups, Theodore and Bibi.
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