In the summer of 2017, two teenagers found an innovative way to raise money for the B.C. Cancer Agency.
This summer, they’re at it again with their fundraiser “Lavender for Cancer.”
“My mom grows lavender around the farm because it smells nice. Usually, she cuts it so that it can grow back the next year,” says Nolan Sievert,
“She had to cut it anyway, so I was like, “perfect, we can cut it and then bundle it and sell it!” instead of it just going in the compost and going to waste.”
But Nolan and his good friend Keegan Small were not selling the lavender for profit. They were raising money for the B.C. Cancer Agency.
“Our goal initially was $500 and we got $500 in the first week,” says Nolan. “By the end, we had raised $5800, and the feeling of giving it to the B.C. Cancer Agency was amazing. That’s why we’re doing it again this year. Just because of how amazing that felt.”
There’s another very personal reason why these two young men are spending hours and hours cutting, drying, bundling and selling the fragrant plant.
“My mom was actually diagnosed with cancer about a year and a half ago,” says Keegan. “So we thought it’d be great to give back and help the B.C. Cancer Agency in some way.”
Keegan’s mother Dianne Small is hugely touched by their gesture.
“It just means more than I can even say,” says Dianne. “I can’t tell you how much it means. It’s very touching. And the fact that they’re concerned about not only me, but the community of people that have cancer, and they want to support those people, it’s incredible, it’s truly incredible.”
Cynthia Durand-Smith is the director of the B.C .Cancer Foundation, Vancouver Island, and is also proud of the work these two 17-year-olds are doing.
“It’s amazing what these two young men have done. Donor dollars make the difference to patient care here on Vancouver Island, and the 20,000 patients that come through this centre in a year will benefit from the efforts that they make, so it’s inspiring!”
And while Keegan and Nolan are helping all Vancouver Islanders fighting cancer, the young men have one fighter, Keegan’s mother Dianne, always on their mind and in their hearts.
“I’m doing much better than I was last year,” says Dianne. “I was originally told that I had two years to live, and that was in December of 2016.”
“It’s looking much more like it will be four years now. And for me, every single moment counts.”