Dianne Small was told she had between three months and two years to live.
More than two years after being diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer, Small is focusing on reducing the impact of cancer on others with Play for a Cure, an ice-hockey fundraiser inspired in part by her own families cancer journey.
“Part of my motivation is to hopefully prevent any families from having that kind of shock,” Small said of the challenges stemming from her diagnosis. “Whether I like it or not my boys (Keegan and Aiden) have a sense they have a clock ticking on me and no family should ever go through this.”
Small says she is doing well and in the midst of the first of three rounds of treatment for an ongoing battle with stage-four breast cancer that has spread to her lungs and bones. She admits she was depressed by the initial diagnosis but now working towards getting healthier and working towards making the Jan. 4 fundraiser an annual event.
“I was really self-absorbed for the first little while after diagnosis, and then I looked around at our midget level hockey and there are three other moms also diagnosed with cancer,” she said.
This year the donations will be made in memory of a parent who unfortunately passed away, but Small says she hopes future donations from the annual event will be made for a very different reason.
“My hope is that each year going forward we will be making a donation not in the memory of someone, but in the name of a cancer thriver,” Small said. “I am hoping there aren’t so many stories of tragedy, but of survival.”
Play for the Cure features two hockey games, a Juan de Fuca Midget exhibition game at 3 p.m. where admission is by donation and proceeds from the 50/50 draw go to the fundraiser at the Q Centre Arena. At 7 p.m., the Victoria Grizzlies face the Langley Rivermen with proceeds from from the 50/50 draw going to Play for the Cure.