In the final stages of her battle with cancer one Prince Rupert woman continues to inspire beyond the boundaries of the city.
The Canadian Cancer Society has awarded Sheryl Sadorski-Gordon with the Medal of Courage, making her the first recipient in B.C. to receive the honour.
The award is dedicated to a society volunteer who has proved to have exceptional courage and has served as a role model to others while fighting their own battle with cancer.
Since her diagnosis with cervical cancer in 2014, Sheryl has been public about her journey. Through the Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer, she has rallied those around her to fundraise and build a strong support network within the community.
Last year, her team, Too Inspired To Be Tired/Sheryl’s Warriors, raised the most funds for the relay with $17,976. Altogether, the relay teams in Prince Rupert raised $124,000 in 2016, almost doubling the amount raised in 2013 with $65,000. The Canadian Cancer Society noted that the increase was due to Sheryl’s contribution.
“I just want my kids to learn that we all have something to give: compassion, empathy and love,” Sheryl said, while bundled up inside her home on March break and spending time with her son, Jacob.
This is her last “kick of the can” she said, and despite her condition, she is all fired up about preparing for another Loonie auction on April 28 at The Crest. In the first week, people from the North Coast, and even Saskatchewan and Whitehorse, had donated goods to fill the auction tables.
“It’s overwhelming how many people stepped up this year,” Sheryl said.
Fundraising for The Relay for Life fuels is what has kept her going since her diagnosis, she said it has given her something to fight for. Now, she wants her own kids to continue that fight.
Earlier this year, her son’s hockey team did the polar bear swim, the resolution run and a bottle drive to raise money for team travel and for the community. The team chose to give half their funds, $1,000 to the oncology unit in Prince Rupert.
For the 2017 Relay for Life, Sheryl’s team took on a slight name change to reflect the awareness ribbon for cervical cancer. The White & Teal Women of Steel have become a catalyst fund, to raise money specifically to fund research on cervical cancer.
The Canadian Cancer Society has recognized Sheryl’s efforts in Prince Rupert, and has seen the ways she’s inspired others, which was why they gave her the award.
“She has chosen to live her cancer journey in a courageously public way in order to create change. She uses her cancer story as a platform to challenge and inspire others. She is a passionate speaker and helps to tie the value of research to her real life experience,” said Shelia Dong, manager of communications for the Canadian Cancer Society.
The White & Teal Women of Steel Loonie Auction will be on Friday, April 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The team has received approximately 70 items and is still looking for contributions. Proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society and will support Sheryl’s team.