Barb-OpEd-Pic-2014It’s my favourite time of year again. Spring is here, the sun is shining and flowers are starting to bloom. Of course, for those of us who work and volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society, one yellow flower stands out above the rest.

April is Daffodil Month, after all, the time of year when we encourage everyone to wear a daffodil pin to show Canadians with cancer they’re not alone.

Here in BC, we’re particularly proud of the daffodil pin. The symbol of support and hope now seen on lapels from coast to coast to coast, got its start right here, five years ago. And thanks to British Columbians embracing the pin, it was adopted nation-wide and has even crossed seas with New Zealand and Australia implementing their own campaigns. Today, when any Canadian affected by cancer sees their neighbours, friends, co-workers or even strangers, wearing a daffodil pin, they know they aren’t facing cancer alone and that the country is united in the fight behind them.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and our more than 7,500 Daffodil Month volunteers, we are able to raise funds for integral support services for people with cancer and invest in leading edge research and prevention initiatives to help stop cancer before it starts. We anticipate the Daffodil Month initiative will raise $5 million this year alone, which will have a substantial and important impact in our fight for life.

This June marks 20 years since I joined the Society as CEO of the BC and Yukon Division. While such a significant personal and professional milestone naturally makes one reflect, I prefer to look ahead to the work still to be done. When I started with the Society in 1994, I embraced the vision of a world where no Canadian fears cancer and now, with our focus on groundbreaking prevention and research, and with your help, I’m even more certain we can change cancer forever.