Cancer patients benefit from curling treatment

Canada, 02 Jun 2016

Sliding marble stones across a sheet of ice has helped raise more than $C26,000 for rural Canadian cancer patients who need to travel long distances to their nearest specialist hospital, thanks to the fundraising support of Macquarie’s New York-based employee Trevor Bechervaise.

A winter Olympics sport that the Canadians have dominated for many years, curling is similar to bowls and shuffleboard. Earlier this year, Bechervaise organised a bonspiel (a curling tournament) in Bonaventure County, a rural area of Quebec, in support of the Linda Lemore Brown Foundation.

“I travelled up to Quebec from New York to visit my parents and to help rally support for the community event,” says Bechervaise.

“It’s a long 12-hour drive but those kind of drives are common for cancer patients in the region who need to travel to a hospital that can treat them.”

The bonspiel has been running for 15 years and Bechervaise’s parents have previously been involved in the event. This year, their son represented the family in the “event of the year” for the community.

“I wanted to help crank it up a bit and even though I now live in New York it meant a lot for me to be involved as I grew up in the county,” says Bechervaise.

“I approached local businesses and community organisations to get them on board and started to spread the word. It started off being planned as a small event but then it got a lot of wind behind it. Soon people started realising what could be achieved with Macquarie’s support and some people travelled up to three hours to participate in the event and donate.”

Ninety six participants across six communities of Quebec competed in the round robin event, playing six to eight games across three days. Each team comprised four people and games lasted approximately two hours.

More than 200 people attended the event with Macquarie Group Foundation matching the amount raised.

The Linda Lemore Brown Foundation is a small volunteer-run non-profit named in honour of Linda Brown, a local women who died of cancer in 2002. Each year it provides up to $C50,000 to cancer patients to support them in accessing treatment.

“The closest hospitals that treat cancer patients are four to twelve hours drive away for most locals, depending on which facility they need to be treated in,” Bechervaise says.

“Patients need to spend weeks away from home during their treatment so the support the Foundation can provide helps out with some of the transport and accommodation costs. The money from our fundraiser means they will be able to provide more support to more members.”