Kelly Shires Legacy
KELLY SHIRES LEGACY
Life could not have been better. Kelly was 34 years old and with her husband Ken, they were running a successful dry land boat facility, the future was looking great. Suddenly around Christmas in 1996, Kelly found a lump in her breast. She saw the doctor the next day and it was quickly determined that she had breast cancer. This was one of the most emotional and difficult times of her life. Not only was she dealing with a life threatening illness, she was also pregnant with her first child. Within a week, Kelly had four surgeries, terminated the pregnancy and began six months of chemotherapy.
Ken & Kelly gave up their business in Mississauga. There were many reasons but the main one was her cancer diagnosis. They knew they had to make some changes, so they moved to a nice little residential area on Georgian Bay to begin a less hectic lifestyle. Kelly knew from the beginning of this journey that she was going to do something to help others with breast cancer. One thing she had discovered was that the costs for items not covered under extended health plans were financially burdensome. She knew first hand what it was like to deal with the emotional, mental and physical stress that breast cancer patients and their families are faced with, but adding the financial stress was overwhelming,
THE SNOW RUN IS BORN
One fall evening, Kelly’s good friend, Suzy Stenoff, visited Ken & Kelly for dinner. After dinner Kelly & Suzy were sitting on the deck over-looking Georgian Bay. They were discussing all of the challenges that Kelly had faced and was facing during her battle with breast cancer. They decided they wanted to change that for others. Kelly was determined to turn her diagnosis into something good! They first considered having a golf tournament, then could not hold back their laughter at how they would host a golf tournament when neither knew a thing about golf! As they continued to brainstorm this, Suzy noticed Kelly & Ken’s snowmobiles which were off to the side and covered. She asked Kelly about her passion for snowmobiling and just like that they idea for the Snow Run was formed. Kelly wanted the theme to be an all-women snowmobile ride – Women helping women! The concept would be to ride the trails and raise awareness at the same time raising funds to help financially assist those diagnosed with breast cancer. The first Snow Run (January 2000), the event was essentially “rained out”! However that did not stop the spirit if the women who still came out and helped raise $10,000. The event has continued to grow since and continues today.
October 31, 2004, Kelly lost her 8-year battle with breast cancer. She had faced her battle head on and through her passion, she had managed to enlist a great group of volunteers to carry her dreams forward. Kelly dreamed that one day there would be an event in each province, which has been a tough challenge. In 2006, with the determination of past Director, Isabelle Dusastre the Quebec Chapter was formed (in 2014 the Quebec chapter joined forces with Ruban Rose to help continue offering financial assistance in Quebec). In 2010, the Trax4 Breast Cancer ATV event held its inaugural event and continues strong today, this event is open to be male and female participants. In 2012 the first Fore the Love of Pink Golf tournament held its first event and has been growing each year. Since losing Kelly, the Board of Director’s continues to carry her dreams and legacy onward. Over the years, they charity has helped those diagnosed with breast cancer with a wide variety of necessary expenses, items ranging from home care, child counseling, prosthetics, wigs, hats and ore. Thank you for helping our applicants make the battle against cancer an easier one for them to fight. Together we ARE making a difference. In loving memory of an extraordinary woman who was determined to make the journey though breast cancer less challenging for others. Kelly wanted us to celebrate her life and we continue to do that through her dreams. Gone but never forgotten!