Brother and sister James and Katie Ryeburn held a Relay For Life BBQ fundraiser on May 17 with support from Charles Hays Secondary Students. (Katie Ryeburn photo)

Why We Relay: “No one should walk alone”

Sibling duo, Katie and James Ryeburn, are relaying for their Prince Rupert community

The sound of laughter accompanied by the smell of juicy beef patties and hot dogs filled the space in front of Save-On-Foods grocery store on May 17. A group of high school students were yelling “Burgers! Get your burgers!” to the tune of Britney Spears and Michael Jackson songs. The dynamic team was led by the sibling duo Katie and James. Their goal? To raise enough money to complete a lung cancer clinic.

Katie Ryeburn, 17, is the team captain for the Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) Relay For Life Team.

“Basically I saw a couple of people at my school who have been affected by cancer and I didn’t like the fact that they had to walk at the Relay For Life alone so I wanted to start my own team,” she said.

Katie Ryeburn started Relay For Life team at her school last year when she was in Grade 11 and only 16 years old. By her side is her right-hand man James Ryeburn, 19.

“My sister and I wanted to organize this Relay For Life because cancer is a terrible disease and nobody should have to fight that alone. So we think as a community we can show our support for friends and family and survivors alike,” he said.

This is the third barbecue the Ryeburns have hosted raising money for cancer, they said. This year they estimate to raise one thousand dollars from the barbecue alone. Last year they successfully reached that same goal and donated the funds to the North Coast Health Improvement Society (NCHIS).

This year, they hope to help complete the lung clinic (COPD) housed at the NCHIS. The clinic was initiated in memory of the late Nelson Kinney, a long-time councillor who suffered with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

READ MORE: New lung clinic to be named after Nelson Kinney

Both teenagers were born in Prince Rupert raised by a dad who worked in the hospital everyday as a family doctor.

“We see and hear about sickness all the time,” Katie said.

What really pushed the sibling duo to pursue their Relay For Life goal was also witnessing their friend Isaac Mastroianni go through a cancer battle of his own in 2017 when doctors found two brain tumors in his head.

“[The school] didn’t want him to feel alone. Just getting teachers and students to come out and join my team is really inspiring for me,” Katie said.

The Relay For Life is not the only plans the Ryeburns have in store for helping others to conquer cancer. Both siblings plan to lead by their father’s example and become doctors.

“It’s very fulfilling work to give back and help people in need,” said James, who is currently studying science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

His sister is graduating from CHSS in a month and received a full scholarship offer from the University of Northern British Columbia where she will be studying in the bio-medical field.

The Relay For Life will take place on May 25 at the Prince Rupert Middle School track from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.



Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New museum exhibit in Prince Rupert to highlight nature’s influence on technology

Travelling exhibit made possible through federal funding via Museums Assistance Program

Rampage ready for new CIHL season

Puck drops Saturday at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

STORY, PHOTOS & VIDEO: Brand new wrestling mats on display at Charles Hays

Team no longer has to grapple with hard surfacing and soreness thanks to generous donations

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

VIDEO: What does PRMS want? Climate action. When do they want it? Now.

Kids in Prince Rupert march to city hall in support of Fridays for Future, a global climate protest

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Most Read