TISDALE — Lynne Roszell felt helpless when her loved ones fought against cancer, so now she’s using her skills as a snowmobiler to raise funds for research into the disease.
Prairie Women on Snowmobiles consists of a group of volunteer snowmobilers who travel across Saskatchewan in six days during the winter, covering approximately 1,400 kilometers.
It was started when two friends, one a breast cancer survivor, asked her friend to snowmobile across Saskatchewan to raise funds for breast cancer research.
To date they have raised over $2.3 million for the Canadian Cancer Society into breast cancer research.
Each year only 10 riders are accepted, being chosen through an application process.
Roszell grew up snowmobiling, so the activity is no stranger to her.
“We had snowmobiles right from the time I was a little girl and we always snowmobiled right at home,” Roszell said. “We grew up right by KIpabiskau Lake actually, and we had a little old 250 snowmobile we used to ride around and follow my dad.”
She would then hear of Prairie Women on Snowmobiles 18 years ago, when the organization first started.
Due to her experience snowmobiling, and cancer touching her family’s life in different forms, she instantly wanted to take part.
Despite this, she found the years came and went without her applying.
“So this is the year I decided to jump in with both feet and apply and I was lucky to be accepted. This is my year to do it.”
To raise funds Roszell, with help from her family, had a barbeque at the Beeland Co-op on Aug. 9, a booth at the Tisdale street fair, a booth at the trade fair in KIpabiskau where they sold candy.
All funds raised by her and the other snowmobilers go to the Canadian Cancer Society for breast cancer research and the Cancer Foundation of Canada for the purchase of equipment. None are kept by themselves for their own trip, which is out of pocket.
“People can also choose if they want it to go towards research or if they would like it to go towards equipment, which is a unique thing about this organization,” Roszell said.
There is also a fundraiser running now until the end of October with the Tisdale SARCAN where people can drop off and donate their recycling to her Prairie Women on Snowmobiles mission.
The pain cancer causes is something Roszell and her family is familiar with.
“I think that cancer has touched almost everybody in one way, shape or form but it was around 20 years ago my dad was diagnosed with a form of cancer, and about three or four years ago we lost my father-in-law to cancer as well,” Roszell said.
“My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago, and she fought breast cancer. My aunt has also fought breast cancer as well. So there have been lots of people in my family, and then I have numerous friends who also have their own cancer battles of their own too.”
Roszell said this caused her to feel helpless.
“I wanted to do something to help and you really don’t know how to do that. This is my way of trying to help and hopefully my involvement here helps to raise some awareness to breast cancer and if we can raise some money along the way, that’s fantastic.”
She said the ride ahead of her is going to be a challenge, but she has a way of looking at it.
“The way I look at it is since everybody’s cancer battle is so much more difficult and this is just six days of my life. If this is something I can do to help give back and raise awareness then I think it’s totally worth it and I look forward to it.”
Roszell’s goal is currently to raise more than $3,000.
“I’d like to raise, ideally if I could, my perfect target goal would be $5,000 because that’s a nice even number, but the minimum that I would like to raise is $3,000 – but I would like to raise more if I can.”
She is currently accepting donations until Dec. 1. To reach Roszell, her number is 306-852-8328 and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’ll have some upcoming events this fall; I don’t have anything planned yet.”