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The donors: Bailey and Jonathan Daniels

The gift: Raising $69,800 and climbing.

The cause: Carcinoid-Neuroendocrine Tumour Society of Canada

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The reason: To fund research into neuroendocrine cancer

When Bailey Daniels started feeling a sharp pain in her stomach, she ignored it at first before finally seeing a doctor. The diagnosis proved life changing.

Doctors initially thought that she might have pancreatic cancer and she had an operation known as the Whipple procedure which involves removing parts of the pancreas, small intestine, stomach and gallbladder. It turned out Ms. Daniels had neuroendocrine cancer, a rare form of the disease which affects cells that release hormones into the bloodstream. There’s no cure but regular treatment can be effective.

Ms. Daniels had the surgery in 2002 and she’s been living a largely normal life, albeit with regular scans and treatment. A few years ago she and her husband, Jonathan Daniels, participated in the annual Ride to Conquer Cancer which raises money for Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. They did the ride for eight years and raised nearly $180,000 in total.

They eventually asked if their donations could go toward research into neuroendocrine cancer but were told that wasn’t possible. So they decided to organize their own fundraising event for the Carcinoid-Neuroendocrine Tumour Society of Canada. They put together a triathlon featuring kayaking, biking and hiking. The event, called the Daniels KBH Triathlon for CNETS Canada, takes place in the Beaver Valley region northwest of Toronto and includes eight kilometres of kayaking, 53 km of biking and 10 km of hiking. They’ve held the triathlon in 2018 and 2019, and raised $69,800 which has helped fund two new research grants. The Daniels, who live in Toronto, are planning next year’s event and hope to raise enough for another grant.

“It’s definitely one of the things in my life I am most proud of,” said Ms. Daniels, 49, a retired university administrator. “It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to be able to help the entire community of neuroendocrine cancer patients in this way.”

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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