A local nursing student is taking her fight against cancer all the way to San Francisco, where she’ll compete in a half-marathon on behalf of one of Cloverdale’s biggest boosters.
Michelle Barwig, 27, is fundraising – and running – in memory of the late Bill Reid, the colourful former executive director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce.
Barwig got to know Reid while she was working at the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association. That’s when the two business organizations shared office space on 56A Avenue.
The pair bonded over their mutual love of softball – Reid as a fan, and Barwig as a player – and much more besides.
“He was just a huge supporter of everything I did,” she says, recalling him as a warm-hearted man who worked hard to give back to his community.
Reid passed away in 2013 from a rare form of cancer, but not before he was honoured with Surrey’s Citizen of the Year award for his many contributions as a politician and community leader.
On Oct. 18, Barwig will be taking part in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF, a race to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She’s a member of Canada’s Team in Training – a program that is authorized to collect donations on the society’s behalf.
Barwig, who is studying nursing at BCIT, is also running on behalf of Heather and Bill Stilwell, parents of her best friend, who have both passed away following fights with cancer.
But her cause doesn’t stop there.
“I will be running for all the individuals who are fighting, who have fought, and who will have to fight this poisonous disease called cancer.”
It’s their stories, she says, that inspire her to keep placing one foot in front of the other while she’s training, and on race day.
To support Barwig, visit her Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraising page at www.tinyurl.com/MBarwig88runs.
She’s seeking sponsors to help assist her to her fundraising goal of $3,000.