Community is keeping Kendra’s dream alive

Walk will maintain fundraising legacy of local teenager

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This article was published 03/06/2010 (4564 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

More than a thousand walkers are preparing to keep Kendra McBain’s dream alive, just months after her untimely death.

The 18-year-old St. John’s-Ravenscourt student lost her long, courageous battle with cancer last December.

But thankfully, the horse enthusiast managed to fulfill one of her last dreams and participated in Kendra’s Walk 2009 — a fundraising walk to help teenagers with cancer.

Submitted Kendra McBain (pictured centre) walks between her mother, Tammy, and father, Rob, during the first Kendra’s Walk in 2009.

This year, a second walk will help keep Kendra’s dream alive, said her mother, Tammy McBain. The event is scheduled for June 4 at 3 p.m. at SJR at 400 South Dr. in Wildwood.

“We’re fulfilling our promise to Kendra to keep the walk going,” said McBain, 46, adding that her daughter never gave up hope of being cured.

“The walk has become bigger than we expected in so many ways. Even when Kendra got the news that her chances for survival were slim, she held on to the hope that she could beat the disease.”

While she lost her own battle, the Charleswood-based teenager has left a legacy that continues to give hope and comfort to numerous other young cancer sufferers.

Kendra was in her third year of battling alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, when she decided to organize a walk to raise money and awareness for teens with cancer.

Her goal was to raise enough money to refurbish the teen room at CancerCare Manitoba. And the overwhelming response to her cause has so far raised more than $160,000 for the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

McBain said that while Kendra did not live to see the finished teen room in all its glory, because it took longer than expected to finish, she played an integral part in its design.

“She liked to dream big. Knowing she wouldn’t use the room, she was inspired to make it a sanctuary for future teens,” McBain said, adding she was touched when the room was named Kendra’s Way.

“She OK’d everything from the furniture to the fabric. She’s left an amazing legacy behind. And I think she was truly amazed by the support she received.”

Among those participating in the June 4 walk will be Kendra’s father, Rob, and her younger brother, Graham, 17.

After Kendra was diagnosed in 2006, hockey-loving Graham vowed to support his sister through her daily battles. His involvement with last year’s walk included collecting donations in the community and championing the event at SJR when it became too much for Kendra.

Submitted

Also, South Pointe Blair McFarlane, one of Kendra’s closest friends, will perform two self-penned songs with his band at the event.

“To know someone of such strength and courage at such a young age inspires me to keep writing,” McFarlane said. 

“She was a mentor to her friends, but most of all, she was a smiling teenager just trying to be normal.”

As part of her legacy, Kendra chose the colour purple to represent her first walk.

“It was just a sea of purple,” said McBain. “There was so much energy and such a feeling of community. It was just electric.”

For more information, visit www.kendraswalk.com.

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at simon.fuller@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7111.

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