MULGRAVE: Following the death of her grandfather, 11-year-old Victoria Cook knew she had to pay respects to a man that she says deserved to be remembered for his long battle with cancer.
“I loved my Pop very much,” Cook told The Reporter. “He was very silly, kind, and loving, and would do anything for his family and community.”
Cook advised she was close with her grandfather, Victor Keeping who lived in Newfoundland, and would spend about a month together every year. Keeping’s kind, generous, giving spirit lives on through his granddaughter.
“He fought cancer for 17 years, four different times,” Cook explained. “I thought he deserved having this done for him. He was a very special person in his community of Victoria Newfoundland and helped many people with his volunteering work; collecting and distributing used furniture and household items to those in need. Everyone knew Vic Keeping.”
With their family’s minister, Rev. Jesse Bown, in Carbonear, N.L., Cook, who will be starting Grade 6 at Tamarac Education Center in September, worked with Michelle Rowe, owner of Ocean View Art Gallery to have a painting fundraiser in honour of her grandfather.
The event, “Colour4Cancer” had face painting, saw participants paint rocks, and Rev. Bown, along with another man had their bald heads painted. When Keeping passed away, he was bald, and once Cook saw the similar character trait to her grandfather, she wanted to paint his head.
“The last time I saw my Poppy was during March break when we went to visit him and I wanted to paint his bald head,” she said. “They laughed about it and told me to do it so I painted a smilie face on it.”
Cook, who started the event with long hair, decided to shave hers off also. She was 100 per cent determined from April through August to cut her hair to further honour her Pop and those battling cancer.
“Colour4Cancer” was a hugely successful event, raising $1,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Upon making the donation, Cook, her mother and her grandmother received a tour of the Daffodil Place, a beautiful, healing space for people who need a place to stay while undergoing Cancer treatments. While there, they found out their only source of funding comes from donors.
Cook also got to speak with a few cancer patients who were so appreciative of the generous donation. She then decided the donation should to go into the general fund for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Place to be used for whatever their greatest needs may be.
“I’m so happy that I raised that much money, it was a lot more than I expected,” Cook said. “I’m happy that it is going to Daffodil Place to assist families who are traveling to St. John’s, NL, from across the province while their family member is receiving treatments.”