Enliven, the Centre for Well-Being in Cancer, provides proactive self-care services for people living with a cancer diagnosis. So it was fitting that their most recent fundraiser, the Jo-Athlon, focused on getting outside and enjoying Muskoka in the winter.
The inaugural Jo-Athlon was held on Sunday, Feb. 2, two days before World Cancer Day, at Camp Tawingo.
“We wanted to celebrate World Cancer Day, and given that cancer affects one in every two Canadians, we are all affected in some way,” said Jackie Riley, executive director of Enliven.
The Jo-Athlon is named in honour of Enliven founder, Joanne McLean, who died from cancer last year.
Many volunteers are working together to bring Joanne’s original vision for Enliven to life. Her sisters, Dale Porter and Sharon Herndorff, sit on the board and assist in office administration, which has included creating a website and newsletter to reduce the loneliness and social isolation often experienced by cancer patients.
“Whether you are a patient, a care-giver or a healthcare provider, you don’t need to feel alone,” said Enliven co-founder, Allie Chisholm-Smith. About the Jo-Athlon, she added, “I thought it was an amazing day full of fun, community and shared laughs.”
The 70 registered participants at the Jo-Athlon had a variety of winter activities to choose from including kick sledding, cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, broomball, tubing, big ball volleyball, snow sculpture building, and a BBQ lunch. Together they raised $7,620 in support of Enliven’s programs.
The Jo-Athlon was sponsored by Camp Tawingo, Cayman Marshall International Realty Inc., Portage Promotionals, Huntsville Animal Hospital, East Side Mario’s and Bubbler Buddy.
“We could not have pulled this event off without the help of Camp Tawingo and specifically John Jorgenson,” said Riley. “John was able to give us direction on how to run the event, he and his team set up each station and created the Passports. Tawingo was an amazing host and we are extremely fortunate and thankful for their support.”
Mike Pearse, owner of Tawingo, said he really hoped that this was truly the first Jo-Athlon of many more to come.
For more information about Enliven’s programs and workshops, visit enlivenmuskoka.ca.
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