Rita Lucas believes Hinton is fortunate to have the Hinton Community Cancer Centre.
Although Lucas never received treatment in Hinton when she came face to face with cancer in 2018, her journey taught her how important it is to have and support the local cancer clinic.
Lucas was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2018. Through radiation treatment in Edmonton and surgery in Hinton she completed her treatment in June 2018.
“It was early cancer, they caught it early,” she explained. “I’m doing really good now.”
After her diagnosis, nurses in Hinton were helpful and provided her with all the information she needed. She appreciated the local support throughout her learning process and treatment.
“It was always somebody else, a friend, family but now it was me. It was just letting me know that it’s important that we support each other. It’s important that we look after each other,” she said.
Lucas always enjoyed volunteering and helping out in the community any way she could, thus it was only natural for her to volunteer for the annual Boob Tour in Hinton when it comes to town Sept. 21. She was tasked to approach businesses in Hinton for donations, which she added can take a lot of energy.
“I had been talking for a couple of hours asking for donations and went home and took off my shoes and the phone was ringing. It was a business in town telling me that they had something. Instead of me having to phone back or ask again, they were phoning me to tell me they had something. I was so ecstatic, it’s rewarding to see your work pay off by somebody phoning to say we got something for you,” said Lucas..
All the money raised through the Boob Tour stays in Hinton, which is something Lucas is very grateful for.
Even though Edson has a fairly new hospital, Hinton still supports the surrounding communities with their cancer unit.
Lucas is grateful to have the clinic so close by, even though they don’t offer the radiation treatment she needed in 2018.
“It’s the support system you get from having our hospital here. There’s people that need other things than chemo here and the hospital helps out,” she explained.
During treatment in Edmonton, she met a lot of others going through similar things she was facing, and some of those patients didn’t make it.
“We’re all affected by cancer. Some people that I met in Edmonton, I was the healthiest one of the lot, I take good care of myself, but there were some there that never made it,” she said.
She added that AHS can only do so much, but organizations like the Hinton Healthcare Foundation and Boob Tour are there to make the hospital stronger.
Something as little as new chairs have made a huge difference for patients going through chemo treatments, as they have to sit for long periods of time.
Lucas emphasized the importance of local support and she is proud to be one of the volunteers helping the community.
“What makes a community strong is what you put in it,” she said.
The Boob Tour takes place Sept. 21 at the Hinton Legion. Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm.
Advance tickets are available at the Cold Creek Boutique. For more information please call (780) 865-8050 or visit www.theboobtour.com.