Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fith annual Climb for Cancer is being postponed until it is once again safe to hold large events. The planning committee is hoping to reschedule for late summer, but the chosen date will depend on how the COVID-19 situation unfolds over the next few months.
“Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult at this point to pick a new date for the Climb for Cancer,” said Doug Bell, Planning Committee Chair, in a news release. “That being said I want to assure people that the Climb for Cancer will go ahead at a later date and that all donations raised to date and moving forward will go to the Kordyban Lodge.”
Cancer patients still need to receive treatment during this unprecedented situation and are at high-risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 as their immune systems are often weakened by cancer and treatment. The Kordyban Lodge is still open but operational changes have been made to ensure the safety of guests. These precautions include office staff working from home, limitations on visitors, increased screening and infection control measures based on guidance from public health officials, and a transition to single occupancy rooms.
The wig and prosthesis banks are temporarily closed as social-distancing is not possible in these areas of the Kordyban Lodge. The Canadian Cancer Society is assessing the situation daily and will prepare for the possibility that plans might need to change.
The Climb for Cancer is the main annual fundraising event for the Kordyban Lodge but donations are needed and accepted year-round. The Kordyban Lodge has an annual operating budget of around $1 million and donations are relied upon to help cover the costs associated with providing a safe and affordable home-away-from home for people from central and northern BC communities receiving cancer treatment in Prince George.
The Climb for Cancer planning committee is still hoping to raise $75,000 in 2020, up from the $65,000 raised in 2019. Participants and sponsors, such as the presenting sponsor of four years, Carrier Lumber, are integral to ensuring this goal is reached. A phenomenal $172,000 has been raised by participants and sponsors since this event began in 2015, which has helped the Lodge to continue providing compassionate, safe, and affordable care to the more than 800 guests it serves every year.
The planning committee acknowledges there is a lot of uncertainty about the future for people and businesses but encourages people who are able to continue submitting donations via the Climb for Cancer page: bit.ly/climbforcancer2020.