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North Bay students raise $50K for cancer research, treatment

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The West Ferris Secondary School community in North Bay is celebrating after raising $50,000 for local cancer research and treatment.

As part of a nearly 30-year tradition, about 800 students and staff marched to the Lake Nipissing waterfront Thursday morning for cancer research.

Students past and present have been marching in the Trojans Parade for Cancer for 29 years.

“This is one of the city's biggest fundraisers for cancer research, so it's really exciting,” said West Ferris victory lap student Layney Polesky.

“My grandma had cancer and then my other grandma had cancer. It affects my family.”

Leading up to the parade, students went door-to-door in the city collecting as much money as they could.

Polesky has been part of the march for three years. Every year, she said people are enthusiastic to donate.

The West Ferris Secondary School community in North Bay is celebrating after raising $50,000 for local cancer research and treatment. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

“Lots of people are really excited to give. I feel like they really understand it because every year we do it,” she said.

“We're all really, really grateful and we're really appreciative of everyone's generosity.”

Teacher Mark Robertson, who has been part of the parade for several years, said he’s not surprised by the community’s generosity.

“I think largely that's in part to the tradition that's been around for almost 30 years” Robertson said.

“It's well known. Another contributing factor, I feel, is the fact that the money stays local.”

Money used locally

All of the $50,000 collected this year is set aside for the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s cancer treatment centre. This marks the third year in a row students have raised $50,000.

The hospital will use the money to buy two new spec CT cameras. It’s a type of nuclear medicine imaging.

“The old technology that we were using came with the new hospital,” said the hospital’s chief of radiology Dr. Jeffrey Hodge.

“It's over 11 years old. So it's time for an upgrade to the cameras that we use to help mostly detect cancer.”

Hodge said the first new camera will be purchased in June.

“People don't have to travel as far to get the specialized health care and we can get it close to home,” he said.

“It'll help us detect the cancer earlier and follow people along to make sure the treatments are working and help us direct the treatments much better and get better outcomes.”

In the last 29 years, the school has collected $500,000 for cancer research and treatment.

Donations can still be made online. The hospital foundation has a donation page set up on its website.

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