On April 29, 2021, Mike Dawe was diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer. With no family history of the disease, the 35-year-old Registered Nurse, soccer player, and Ironman Triathlete was shocked to learn his immediate future was going to look a lot different than expected.
Mike and his wife were about six weeks away from welcoming their second child to the family when he was thrust into an unfamiliar schedule filled with surgery, recovery, isolation, and test results which would impact their lives for the foreseeable future.
“Amidst the anger, frustration, confusion, lack of understanding and shock, I quickly realized I had to find a way to channel these emotions into something more positive and fight back. This diagnosis was not going to go away, so I had to embrace it and work my way through it,” he said.
Mike knew he needed something to believe in and work towards so he could stay motivated, and he knew exercise worked for him to occupy his body and mind. He looked for a break in his cancer calendar and signed up to run his seventh Cape To Cabot 20km Road Race on October 17, 2021.
With his plan to run the race, Mike decided to pair his efforts with a cause to help others dealing with circumstances similar to his own. Mike wanted to embrace the YACC community and spread the message of strength, hope, and resilience amidst an earth-shattering diagnosis. He connected with Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) executive director Geoff Eaton, and the “Get YACCtive” challenge was born.
Mike challenged everyone everywhere to move in any way to improve their health. He set his own limits and finished the race with a remarkable time of 1:50:58!
The Get YACCtive fundraising page launched on September 24, 2021 and within 24 hours, Mike had beaten his first fundraising goal. To date, the challenge has raised $10,374.70 (and counting)!