Year after year, Climb for Cancer hears the stories and the passion that comes from those who participate in the Climb. There is a drive – a desire with each person who takes that step on the stairs to make their mark – to make a difference and to Climb for someone.
Dad Strong is an extreme TiCat loving family who has been affected by cancer, a disease that has touched everyone. This team is composed mainly of family which grows year after year. You can tell who is a member of “Dad Strong” by the back of their personally produced t-shirts as they have dedicated this space for the names of those they personally climb for. This is one of the many ways they help to raise awareness.
Dad Strong climbs for a father and husband who they miss each and every day. They felt the least they could do as a family, in her opinion, was to raise awareness at this great event in memory of him, those we’ve lost and those who continue to fight.
“We decided to raise awareness after we lost my dad from cancer almost 3 years ago, hence our team name – Dad Strong,” says Jessica Oliveira, the team captain. “My Dad was incredible, to say the least. A strong, loving, and a funny man who would do anything and everything for the needs of others.”
“I think the event is fantastic! If I had known about it earlier I would have definitely participated much sooner,” says Jessica. Having seen an advertisement about 3 years ago, she decided to get a team together and said, “Let’s do this for Dad each and every year!” Every year team Dad Strong grows to include more friends and family members who all step in front of cancer to raise funds and awareness here in Hamilton.
Dad Strong participated in the 10th anniversary of Climb for Cancer last year when it moved to Tim Hortons Field. “All I can say is WOW! The music, the energy, the Ticats, just an amazing experience I wish everyone would do it,” says Jessica as she recalls the experience last year. “I remember having maybe 20 minutes left in the climb, and everyone on our team was exhausted, me personally ready to call it quits. But those Ticats are so extremely motivating! I had one of them push me through the rest of the 20 minutes and never let me give up. That’s what you call motivation! Our team is extremely blessed to be a part of such an amazing community!”
When asked how she feels about the event itself, Jessica says, “I love the environment of the climb, I love the enthusiasm from everyone, and that each person there is raising awareness for someone they love. It’s such a family oriented event with no age restrictions and everyone really leaves there feeling that they made a difference in someone else’s life.”
Each year Jessica looks forward to getting everyone together and strictly dedicating the day to her family, friends and fellow cancer fighters. “No better feeling than that,” she says. “I encourage anyone who has yet to join the climb to do so!”
GO CATS GO! 🙂
Jessica Oliveira, Team Captain – Dad Strong