by Lorraine Payette, written November 21, 2013
I’m heading out with my curlers tonight
For our regular Friday Night Flight
And I know it’s been said
That I’ve got rocks in my head
I’m heading out with my curlers tonight!
– The Curlers’ Waltz
(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) The Clare Family knows what it’s like to lose someone to lung cancer. About twelve years ago, Joyce Clare succumbed to the disease, leaving behind her husband Grover and a strong, active family of ardent curlers.
“My mum would have been 81 this year,” said Jayne Curtis, Clare’s daughter.
In 2002, the Clare family decided it was time to do something to help fight back against the disease. The most preventable of all cancers, it is also the most deadly. According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), “Canada’s lung cancer mortality rate (is) 58 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) average of 43 deaths. Though the percentage of daily smokers (16%) is actually lower than in most OECD nations, cancer can take years to develop and Canada is now seeing the effects of higher smoking rates from previous decades…
“‘Lung cancer kills more than any other cancer,’ says (Katerina) Gapaneko. ‘More people die from lung cancer than prostate, breast and colorectal cancer combined.’”
Knowing personally the effect it can have on entire families, the Clares decided to focus on the fun side of Joyce Clare and started a bonspiel in her honour.
Held every year in November, the Joyce Clare Memorial Spiel consists of three 4-end games held at the Gananoque Curling Club. The entry fee also provides Saturday morning coffee, as well as Saturday night dinner, and a canteen is available for lunch. All profits go to patient care in the Gananoque area.
“And we’re all going to win,” said Erica Clare, granddaughter to Joyce and Grover. “We have to.”