‘They’re Angels Without a Halo’: Winnipeg Dog Owners Unite to Support Cancer Organization


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Winnipeg –

A few hundred dogs led their owners through Winnipeg’s Kildonan Park on Sunday afternoon for the fourth annual Paws for Cancer Walk.

The Never Alone Cancer Foundation hosted the event in memory of a Winnipeg man named Jerry Maslowsky. He died of esophageal cancer in 2016.

“[Jerry’s] the last few months have been spent with a dog, so a lot of comfort has come from these canine companions, ”Michael Schiefer, executive director of Never Alone, told CTV News.

This experience, said Schiefer, inspired the family of Never Alone and Maslowsky to create an inclusive event in his memory.

Never Alone helps people battling cancer, as well as their families and caregivers, by providing them with informational, emotional and financial support.

“Families and caregivers are often forgotten in the battle against cancer,” said Schiefer. “Our idea is to support the whole because you need a team on this journey against cancer.”

Sunday’s event featured activities, tents, prizes and “Wag” bags for the first hundred puppies before the walk took place.

Paws for a Cause participants raised over $ 105,000 ahead of this year’s walk, including $ 40,000 in matching donations from Kin Canada.

Schiefer said the money will help the 350 or so callers who contact Never Alone each year.

Tobiasz Osicki, a volunteer at Sunday’s event, first contacted Never Alone after being diagnosed with two types of cancer.

“This is where they stepped up,” Osicki said.

After undergoing a tracheostomy, as well as a procedure to remove his salivary gland, Osicki said Never Alone had helped him with everything from transportation to the grocery store throughout his recovery.

“It’s good to have a foundation and a group of people just waiting there – no questions asked,” Osicki said. “They are angels without halos.”

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