Tattooed moms tackle cancer

Tight-knit group of Cloverdale women raise funds for breast cancer research

All of the Parabees except one (who couldn’t for medical reasons) tattooed a “pair of bees” on their feet.

By Kristine Salzmann

You’d be hard pressed to find a group of women as close-knit as the Parabees.

For at least two decades the nine Cloverdale moms have supported each other through good times and bad: weddings, deaths, children’s milestones, and, not least of all, breast cancer.

Two of the moms, Pat Dezall and Cathi Woodward, are breast cancer survivors.

Dezall discovered she had cancer in 2000 after a routine mammogram, and Woodward was diagnosed four years later.

It was supporting each other through cancer treatment that sparked the group name, one private joke among many.

The next logical step for such a tight group was to ask Carole Cochran’s graphic designer daughter to create a logo.

As a show of solidarity, eight of the women marched into Cloverdale’s Pro Pain Ink to have their “pair of bees” tattooed on their right feet (one could not get the tattoo for medical reasons).

The woman met when their now adult children attended Cloverdale Elementary. They would help run the school’s hot dog lunches, and that connection has since led to rituals such as their annual Academy Awards party and weekly Monday coffee nights (yes, every week).

When four of their sons turned 30, the women hosted a birthday fundraiser to raise money for the guys’ participation in The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.

“It’s an amazing sisterhood,” says Dezall of the friendship that includes Woodward, Cochran, Brenda Stowe, Cynthia Gibbs, Dawn Morrison, Holly George, Kerri McGowan, and Lori Townsend.

“They have done so much for me – mentally, emotionally – and we have fun.”

Eight years ago was the start of another tradition: participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure in Vancouver.

The women don pink aprons, white T-shirts with their logo given to them by a donor, and pink Gerber daisies for the one or five kilometre walk/run event that this year takes place Sept. 30.

They raised money by sending out an annual plea for donations to friends and family via email, but last year the group decided to harness that Parabee energy and have some fun.

They hosted a pub night at The Tudor Ale House that raised more than $5,000 toward a final team total of $9,311.

“It was amazing, the support we got from the community,” Dezall says.

Donations to their silent auction included Helijet tickets, Vancouver Canucks tickets, and a guided Sturgeon fishing trip.

This year, they’re at it again. The fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 7 will once again be at The Tudor Ale House (187 Hwy. 15) and feature a silent auction, raffle, door prizes, and live music.

Tickets are $20 and include a beverage (alcoholic or non), beef or veggie burger and fries.

For tickets or to donate a prize, contact “bee keeper” Dezall at 604-328-5537 or “queen bee” Woodward at 604-532-8604.

Just Posted

Newton bingo hall to close after April 21

Gateway Casinos ‘working to transition its employees from the Newton facility to other Gateway properties in the region’

‘Significant waitlists’ for early French Immersion programs in Surrey

District struggling to find specialist teachers for French Immersion, Fine Arts and Montessori programs

Surrey MP apologizes for inviting criminal to Trudeau reception

Posing for photos with controversial people has been a bane for politicians

White Rock ‘demoviction’ complaint heard at RTB

Decision expected to be made next week

‘Anti-gym’ for baby boomers opens in Surrey today

Expanding Surrey-born company is brainchild of city’s 2017 Business Person of the Year, Sara Hodson

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

More snow expected on the Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says five to 10 centimetres will come down between Friday and Saturday mornings

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Lane closures on Alex Fraser, Port Mann bridges considered to avoid ‘ice bombs’

Province spent $5 million clearing both bridges last years

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read