Tracy Lawrie and her dad

Langley Relay For Life: Team inspired by Gibbons’ fight

Most teams have personal reasons for their many laps.

The family and friends of Jerry Gibbons will be back at the Langley Relay for Life this year, as they have every year since Gibbons was diagnosed with cancer.

Gibbons passed away in 2013, at the age of 57.

The team he started in 2011, Papa’s Journey, has kept going strong, year after year ever since.

Gibbons’ sister Lisa Farquharson, publisher of the Langley Advance, remembers that her brother seemed to draw strength from the event.

“I think it just made him feel that he was part of something bigger,” Farquharson said. “Seeing the community rally together gave him strength.”

Like many people, Gibbons had been a participant in the Relay for Life with other teams even before his diagnosis.

He was diagnosed early in 2011 with a brain tumor, and was given about a year to live. However, Gibbons made it out to a second Relay for Life in 2012.

It was a tough time for the whole family.

“It’s pretty tough to see someone go through that,” Farquharson said.

Jerry’s wife Sue went through her own battle with breast cancer simultaneously.

Since Jerry’s passing, Relay has remained important for the family.

Sue and daughter, Tracy Lawrie, organize annual fundraisers where family and friends help out.

Most of the team’s fundraising is small-scale, including their annual car wash held in Murrayville at Fernridge Automotive.

The sizable team will be out again this year.

“Everybody’s pretty excited it’s until midnight,” said Farquharson.

They will design and put stickers on luminaries, which will be lit later in the evening around the track.

“For me, the best part is the lighting of the candles,” said Farquharson. During the luminary ceremony, the lights are turned off and there is a moment of silence for those lost to cancer.

Papa’s Journey is just one of the approximately 50 teams already signed up for this year’s Langley Relay for Life.

Just Posted

United voice calls for more senior services in Aldergrove

‘The people here deserve more’ says founder of the local Seniors Resource Fair

Aldergrove’s water park opens to public at discounted rates

Though the pool remains closed, the Township has decided to charge a toonie for admission

Fraser Valley pup trained in Aldergrove co-stars in A Dog’s Journey

Film premiers this weekend, starting Friday in Canadian theatres

Homeless woman unsuccessful in lawsuit against government

A Langley homeless woman tried to sue Victoria and Ottawa

Sea of purple showed support for Langley school’s ALS fundraiser

Students and staff were inspired to fundraise by the plight of a teacher living with ALS.

Jeep totalled, four young people in hospital, after single-vehicle crash in Surrey

Mounties have not ruled out any possible factors in what led to the overnight crash

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Cloverdale Rodeo competition promises to be a ‘nail-biter’ this weekend

New challengers giving returning champions a run for their money

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read