By Gord Bowes, News staff
After Steve Shaw found out he had cancer, Keira was there to make sure he kept going during the treatment and recovery.
Shaw and his fiancee, Brittany Boniface, had just bought and moved into their first home in August 2012 when Shaw got the bad news: he had an aggressive form of testicular cancer. It was in stage three.
“When you get diagnosed, it’s pretty shocking, obviously,” says Shaw.
The Mountain resident started four cycles of chemotherapy last September and is now continuing his recovery.
Shaw credits Keira, the couple’s German shepherd, with helping him through the treatment and beyond. He says he believes it would have been a longer recovery period without Keira being there.
“Keira really helped me out, got me motivated to get off the couch,” he says. “She always sensed something was wrong and motivated me to keep going. She was there to help me throughout it.”
“Dogs know when you’re having your good days and your bad days.”
Shaw and Boniface will have Keira with them on Sept. 22 for the inaugural Bark For Life event. It’s a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society along the same idea as the Relay for Life.
Dogs aren’t allowed at the annual 12-hour Relay for Life fundraiser. But many owners want their pooch beside them at such an emotional time, says Boniface, who is on the Bark For Life organizing committee.
Bark For Life gives those people and their canines a chance raise money for the cancer society together.
While some other communities have held a Bark For Life event, this will be the first for Hamilton. It’s being held Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at T.B. McQuesten Park on Upper Wentworth Street at the Lincoln Alexander Parkway.
“You can do it individually or as a team,” says Boniface.
The event kicks off with a light breakfast and there will also be vendor displays, prizes and entertainment.
A goal of $15,000 has been set and each participant is challenged to raise at least $150.
For more information or to register, see cancer.ca/BarkHamilton or contact Katherine Vooys at 905-575-9220 ext. 3113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.