Jay and Diane
It would be easy to assume that Jay and Diane Exner volunteer because they themselves were once on the receiving end of Kids Cancer Care’s support for families – but that’s not the only reason they give their time. After their son was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, they “came to understand that life is bigger than ourselves”. Seven years ago, they decided it was time to give back once they felt they had the wind back in their sails.
For them, Kids Cancer Care was the perfect fit; “We made a conscious decision to roll up our sleeves and find out where we could make a difference in others’ lives, however great or small that difference would be.”
Jay and Diane signed up to volunteer at one of Kids Cancer Care’s biggest fundraising events where they felt they could contribute the most and make the biggest impact; Tour For Kids Alberta, the Exners’ favourite annual event.
And what an impact they have made. Every year, they give up an entire weekend of their summer to man the refrigeration trucks for the three-day cycling adventure which raises funds for Kids Cancer Care camp programs. They drive from stop to stop throughout the Rockies, where they set up food, clean up, tear down, and hit the road again. And they do it all with a smile on their face. Keeping the riders fueled is one of the most important jobs of the weekend and Jay and Diane truly go “the extra mile”.
But these two selfless individuals feel they get more than they give, “This is a time where we get involved, get outdoors, have some fun (and work together side-by-side too). At the end of it all, we know that we have helped to make a difference in the life of a child, and their family. How can it get any better than that? We have had the privilege and honour of meeting some fantastic people over the years and hope to be able to continue this tradition for many years to come. Thank you Kids Cancer Care for this great opportunity to give back to some deserving kids.”
Learn more about Kids Cancer Care's volunteer opportunities here.