Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Hundreds of volunteers gathered Saturday at the waterfront in Dartmouth with the goal of planting 13,000 bulbs in the daffodil garden for cancer survivors.

The Daffodil Garden opened in September last year, making it the first of its kind in Canada in the Atlantic. It was created by two cancer survivors, Judy and Jim Edgar, who raised the $ 73,000 needed to make their dream come true.

They say the daffodil is a symbol of strength, courage and hope for those living with cancer.

“[Cancer] does not have to be a death sentence, “said Jim Edgar.” I mean, you have to stay positive, that’s the key. You work on it and you take care of yourself. “

When their shovels hit dirt, many of the volunteers thought about their reasons for participating.

“My grandmother was a breast and skin cancer survivor, so that’s something for her,” said Yuriko Clark, one of the volunteers. “It makes me feel connected because my dad really likes gardening and that was his mom.”

Jim Edgar said he is looking forward to next spring when the flowers bloom. (Nicola Seguin / CBC)

She and her friend, Jinky Apayo, planted more than 300 bulbs all morning. They said it was hard work, but it was worth it.

“I took the bus past here every morning for the past year and I saw this beautiful yellow field with daffodils … and it’s really good to help and be a contribution to this, give back,” Apayo said.

Every year, more daffodils are planted by volunteers and the garden grows.

Some of the volunteers came by to help in honor of friends and family members, and some did so to represent their own journey.

Betty Lou Blackburn came to plant daffodils with her family.

“I’m a cancer survivor. Five times,” Blackburn said. “Judy and Jim [Edgar] has created a beautiful, relaxing place. It’s nice here. “

Some of the bulbs are apparently ready to be planted. (Nicola Seguin / CBC)

Blackburn said her family is a big part of why she was able to stay positive after each diagnosis.

“In January, it’s 28 years since my first diagnosis …. My left lung was performed in 2008, my right lung was in 2010,” Blackburn said. “So that’s a disadvantage. However, we have worked through it, [my family] is my stone. ”

Edgar said he hopes the resilience of the flowers each year can inspire the countless people whose lives have been affected by cancer.

“We have always defined cancer survivors as not only the people who have had cancer and beaten to death, but also their family, their friends, colleagues, their medical team,” he said. “They’ve all gone that journey with them.”

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