2023 Community Event - All Cancers

A Pumpkin Promise in Memory of Marietta Okell

A Pumpkin Promise!

A Pumpkin Promise began years ago; not as a named event, but as a simple Halloween idea to find the biggest pumpkins I could...something to laugh at and talk about with the neighbors until the next year's 'big' find! As one of my favorite holidays, my mother also shared this same passion, if not on a larger scale! She loved Halloween and was just as excited to see what size pumpkins I could find the following year.

Over time, it became something I looked forward to each Halloween and grew to become an expected sight in my neighborhood. Local farmers would baby and grow Atlantic Giant seedlings into massive pumpkins and donate them with generous hearts; flat deck trucks, tractors, bobcats and hefty friends helped to load and unload; and finally, best friends forever, who I'm sure curse under their breath the week before Halloween when I call to ask for help with standing the beasts up and showcasing them at their finest...without this dream team, none of this would have been possible each and every year.

In 2009, the passion dimmed when my mother Marietta was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We loved, cared and supported her through her treatments and subsequent aftercare, until her passing in November 2010. Naturally, Halloween just simply did not carry the same cheer as it had in the past...yet I continued to do it with thoughts of my mom and her smile as she would see the size of these pumpkins upon arrival. A couple years ago, I made the decision to carry this on in memory of my mother and chose to fundraise for cancer. Hence, a Pumpkin Promise was born.

I am committed to making a difference. I am proud to be fundraising for CancerCare Manitoba Foundation and am asking for your support in helping me reach my goal.

CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is the only organization exclusively fundraising for CancerCare Manitoba. While CancerCare Manitoba works in partnership with Manitoba Health, some programs and services may not be eligible for government funding. CancerCare Manitoba Foundation raises funds to bridge this gap and help deliver the best research, patient care, treatment and support for all Manitobans and their families living with cancer.

Each year more than 6,000 Manitobans receive a cancer diagnosis. Your continued support helps CancerCare Manitoba and its partners prepare for an estimated 50% increase in the number of people diagnosed and living with cancer over the next decade.

By supporting me with a donation, you are helping to support CancerCare Manitoba in its work to change lives and change the course of cancer in our province.

Every donation -no matter how big or small- is critical as we work together to stay ahead of this disease.

Thank you for your consideration.

Chris Okell (A Pumpkin Promise)

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