Second walk to honour teen who died of cancer

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Kendra McBain is gone, but her family is still trying to find peace.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/06/2010 (4567 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Kendra McBain is gone, but her family is still trying to find peace.

On Friday, they will hold the second annual Kendra’s Walk, to raise money for CancerCare Manitoba and to carry on her legacy.

Every footstep helps.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVE Kendra McBain (centre) takes part in the first Kendra’s Walk last year with mother Tammy and dad Rob.

"We’re all still grieving. It’s not easy to share your story. We want to do it, but it’s not always easy," said Tammy McBain, Kendra’s mother. "(The walk has) helped us in that it has given us something positive to work on.

"We want to create a second annual walk that Kendra would be proud of if she was here to help plan this with us."

Kendra, a St. John’s Ravenscourt student, was only 15 when she was diagnosed with alveolar rabdomyosarcoma, a cancer so rare only 100 cases have been diagnosed in North America and New Zealand in the past six years. She died in December. She was 18.

Last May, she organized and held Kendra’s Walk, raising $160,000 for CancerCare Manitoba and becoming an icon for teenagers battling cancer. The money was used to outfit a teen room at the organization.

"It was Kendra’s wish that the walk continued," Tammy said. "It was a way for her to give back to an organization that supported her battle.

"She wanted to become a nurse and when she realized that wouldn’t be likely, she knew that by continuing the walk, she could continue to help other people."

Kendra’s younger brother, Graham, has been speaking to schools to rally support for Friday’s walk, and hopes they are able to rival, or even beat, last year’s results.

"It’s hard not having Kendra around to help promote it and excite people, but we’re hoping to raise a lot more money this year," he said, adding they’ve received a lot of support already from local businesses and schools.

"It means the world to us knowing that people out there are taking time out of their day to care about our family and what we’re going through," he said.

The McBain family knows there’s still a long walk in front of them, and other cancer patients holding out for a cure.

"There’s nothing simple about cancer," Tammy said. "The body is a very complicated thing and when something odd happens, I don’t think it’s a simple solution.

"There are a lot of brilliant people out there trying to find a cure and making improvements all the time."

The walk will start this Friday at 3 p.m. at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School.

To donate visit www.kendraswalk.com.

matt.preprost@freepress.mb.ca

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