Denny Forrest

Denny Forrest

Cancer fight hits streets

Warm, humble and dedicated sums up the personality of Ladysmith’s cancer crusader, Denny Forrest.

“Personally, it’s a joy,” Forrest said about volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society. “I never do think about it to be honest, but it does make a difference.”

Forrest exudes an attitude of what needs to be done will get done and all in good time.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” he said with a smile.

A cancer survivor himself — gastroesophageal in 1996 and colorectal in 2005 — Forrest understands the need of giving back and staying positive.

“I don’t even think about the self-satisfaction, I just do it, it’s great.”

Forrest has been involved with the Tour de Rock for four years.

Last year, he personally raised about $8,000 for the cancer-fighting cause.

“My goal was $3,000,” he said. “It went extremely well.”

Janice Grinnell, the president of the Ladysmith chapter, said the biggest thing about Forrest is that he gives from the heart.

“When he makes a commitment, that’s it. His commitment is honoured,” she said.

Forrest also grew his hair out for the event, dyed it blue and gold and shaved it in front of a rapt audience.

“That was fun.”

Now, Forrest is gearing up for the door-to-door April campaign.

Forrest covers the Bayview area of Ladysmith.

“They donate what they wish,” he said. “People are good.”

Grinnell said the more she has gotten to know Forrest the more she realizes how special he is.

“The biggest thing about him is that he makes you feel good, he lifts you up.”

Forrest said the campaign is so important because everyone is touched by cancer.

“Everybody knows about cancer or has been affected by it or knows someone close to them who has,” he said.

Forrest said he thinks treatment for the disease still has a long way to go, but he has seen a difference over the years.

“It’s come a long way,” he said.

But Forrest said he wants people to take control of their health.

“Get yourself checked,” he said. “Early detection is really crucial, the most crucial thing.”

The Canadian Cancer Society’s door-to-door campaign runs for the month of April. Look for volunteers canvassing Ladysmith.