Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Military veterans soldiering on for stricken buddy

Cash from social will help cancer patient, family

  • Print

They are military veterans. They served in a variety of roles -- as vehicle technicians, in logistics, in the infantry. They now get together to recapture the sense of camaraderie they once knew in the military and long for as civilians, and to serve the community of Winnipeg by holding fundraisers and events for organizations such as the Military Family Resource Centre.

Oh yes, they enjoy riding motorcycles together. Big motorcycles. Harley Davidsons.

They are members of the Tri-Service Military Veterans Association of Canada, a non-profit group of Canadian veterans.

When an association member, Tony de Groot, was diagnosed with colon cancer, these tough-as-nails men decided they needed to help out one of their own.

De Groot, a 44-year-old father of children A.J., 11, Janna, 9, and Jeremy, 2, was diagnosed last May. The mechanic for Bison Transport needed time off work, first for surgery and now for chemotherapy. His wife works for Tim Hortons but only part-time so she can spend more time with two of their children who have special needs, living with autism.

De Groot's disability cheques can be difficult to stretch at times, and because of a pre-existing heart condition, he found himself ineligible for mortgage insurance.

"It's been a strain, if it wasn't for family and friends helping out," says de Groot. "With the chemotherapy there's been so many different side-effects, the worst being tiredness, fatigue and sensitivity to cold."

Paul de Groot, president of the association and a brother to Tony, decided that the group would set up a fundraising social event aptly titled Code Name: Bottoms Up for Tony.

"We had a discussion among ourselves. Tony had no idea and we decided we had to do something to help him and his family out," says Paul.

"Our goal for this event is twofold: first to raise funds to help ease the burden of Tony and his family's day-to-day living expenses so that they may be able to focus solely on getting well," says William Lee, association treasurer, former military policeman and host of the social fundraiser. "Secondly, we would like to raise awareness of colon cancer and the importance of early detection through having a routine examination and colonoscopy."

The event, which takes place on Friday at Stereo Nightclub Canad Inns, will not only have a silent auction, but also a power-point presentation about colon cancer to help raise awareness. All proceeds raised will go to de Groot and his family.

"It's surprising. You don't know how many friends you have," says de Groot. "There are people I don't even know making donations. I feel so very fortunate. I'm just trying to keep my spirits positive, hoping after the chemo, the cancer will be over and done with, and I can move on with my life with my family."

For more information about the fundraiser, how to buy tickets and become involved, please visit: www.cdnveterans.com.

 

If you know a special volunteer who strives to make his or her community a better place to live, please email carolynshimmin@gmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 11, 2013 B2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gord Steeves targets traffic cameras

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Susan and Gary Harrisonwalk their dog Emma on a peaceful foggy morning in Assiniboine Park – Standup photo– November 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you plan on attending any of the CMHR opening weekend events? (select all that apply)

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google