Relaying for his wife and family

The Relay For Life series in Prince Rupert continues with Charles Trimble's story of his wife being diagnosed with cancer.

Charles Trimble holds a photo of his wife

Charles Trimble holds a photo of his wife

By Devyn Ens

Walking for Relay for Life has a deeper meaning for Charles Trimble this year.  About six months ago, Charles and his wife Laura travelled to the hospital in Prince George to find the reason for her severe pain.

The doctors told them that cancer might be the cause for her pain. The couple rushed back to Prince Rupert to get the diagnosis — Laura had Stage Four B-cell lymphoma.

“The doctor said if we would have waited another 30 days, we would have been burying her,” Charles said.

The doctor told them the cancer was curable. Laura had eight rounds of chemotherapy and this week she went to Vancouver for a final PET scan to make sure the cancer is gone.

Unfortunatley, several months ago while Laura and Charles were in Vancouver for Laura’s initial treatment, her sister, Lorraine Nelson, was also diagnosed with cancer.

“Lorraine went down to Vancouver and there was nothing they could do, so they just sent her back home.”

Lorraine passed away in January and the couple is walking for her this year along with 20 family members.

They are also walking in memory of Charles’ brother, and Laura’s mother. Charles started participating in the walk in honour of his brother.

“He passed away, must’ve been about 40, 45 years ago.”

Charles said he’s been doing the walk for seven or eight years now, but this year is going to be different.

“Before my wife was diagnosed, we always heard of people with cancer, but we never really thought anything about it, but I always did the relay, and none of my other family members did it, but this year everybody’s doing it.”

“I was trying to ask my sister-in-law (about) who holds the record for the most laps walking and running, and I was going to try and beat it,” Charles said.

Charles and Laura will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year with their three children.

He said that after Laura was diagnosed, the family had a planned trip to Mexico. Laura couldn’t go because of her treatments but Charles said he and his daughter brought a photo cutout of her along with them and took pictures with it, so she could feel included in the experience.

Charles has been retired from the City of Prince Rupert for four years now, and spends a lot of his time working with the city’s aboriginal youth. He’s organized an upcoming 14-day canoe trip from Greenville down to Kitimat in August.

When he’s not volunteering, he said he’s part of two different walking groups, and works on having a healthy lifestyle. Charles said Laura got him to quit smoking when he was 24, and has been smoke free ever since.