Langley Township fire crews wear pink shirts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to support the wives of two of their members, who have been diagnosed with the disease. (Jhim Burwell/Township Fire Department)

‘Always keep fighting,’ breast cancer hits home for Langley Township firefighters

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Langley Township fire crews are supporting a new logo on their pink shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month after learning the disease hit close to home.

Two Township firefighters have wives who were diagnosed with the disease and members from all seven fire halls are joining the October awareness campaign by wearing pink T-shirts with the slogan “Always Keep Fighting.”

READ MORE: Langley breast cancer dragon boat team still battling in offseason

The T-shirts were designed by Township fire Capt. Morley Sagert and his wife, Sandra.

Sandra is currently facing breast cancer and the slogan is one she lives by as she continues her journey, according to Capt. Scott Brewer.

Meanwhile, it has been nearly three years since Karen McGuckin, and her firefighter husband, Richard, first heard her diagnosis of breast cancer.

Karen said her doctor encouraged her to start getting regular check-ups when she turned 40 years old.

“I was diagnosed – it was 2017 – and I went for my annual mammogram,” she said. “From there they called me back, and they said that they saw a difference in my breast, and I had to go for an ultrasound, and then that’s when they saw the cancer.”

The 51-year-old said she decided to get a lumpectomy because of the small size of the lump.

“At the time you just want to get rid of it,” she said. “You always think it could come back.”

After her successful surgery the family decided it was a good time to get away.

“I went to Disneyland to celebrate the surgery being over and [the] cancer out of me,” she said.

Although the cancer did not spread, Karen’s journey was far from over.

“That was a really good thing, I was very thankful for that,” she said, referring to the isolated lump. “But they [doctors] did suggest I go through chemo as well as radiation.”

After returning from her family vacation, Karen underwent six months of chemotherapy, and has been cancer free since.

“If I wouldn’t have gone to get it checked, I may not be here. I don’t know how fast it could have spread or what would have happened,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘It’s never too early’: B.C. women urged to speak to their doctors about breast cancer

Karen said her cancer mass was so small it didn’t turn up during a physical exam.

“The doctors couldn’t feel it either because it was so small, but that just shows you going in for a mammogram – they’ll find it.”

Karen doesn’t have a long history of breast cancer in her family, but recalls her aunt had battled the disease. Her diagnosis encouraged her friends to go get screened for breast cancer where one of her friends discovered she too had cancer.

“It’s very important to have the annual check,” she said. “Definitely if it runs in your family, go get screened.”

The experience showed Karen how much she has to live for.

“I am [thankful] for all my family and friends and all the support within the community, and the school – just everyone, the fire hall” she said. “It’s just amazing how everyone comes together.”

Before Karen’s diagnosis Richard admits he didn’t really think about breast cancer.

“My wife and I did the Run for the Cure on the weekend which I would never have done prior to that,” he said. “It affects so many people and to see the support from the public it was very much an eye-opener.”

The firefighter works out of the Aldergrove fire hall and is thankful for the crew who have put breast cancer in the spotlight with their pink shirts.

“Don’t get so busy in life that you can’t look after yourself,” he said.

BC Cancer Agency

• Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in British Columbia, according to BC Cancer Agency. In 2019 an estimated 3,890 women from the province will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

• Risk increases with age – the risk of breast cancer doubles between the ages of 45 and 65.

• A family history of breast cancer, particularly breast cancer in a mother, sister or daughter, increases a person’s risk.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Langley Township fire crews wear pink shirts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to support the wives of two of their members, who have been diagnosed with the disease. (Jhim Burwell/Township Fire Department)

Just Posted

Hallmark holiday flicks highlight Langley

How many Langley locations can be spotted this year in Christmas movies-of-the-week?

Christmas comes alive in Aldergrove this Saturday

26th annual Elks Kid’s Christmas party and Christmas Light-Up Parade in motion

Cloverdale hospital could take pressure off Langley Memorial

Fraser Health says about 20 per cent of patients at LMH are from Surrey

Tribute breakfast a Krause Berry Farm’s Christmas tradition

Happy husbands and friends flip flapjacks every year together for a cause

IIO report just small part of answers Carson’s family hopes for

Carson Crimeni’s grandfather says he’s still waiting to hear about criminal charges

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

Prolific offender nabbed at Surrey SkyTrain after police say he skipped paying fare

Officers arrested Reginald Simon at Scott Road SkyTrain after discovering he had 11 outstanding warrants

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Most Read