Dry Feb highlights link between drinking, cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society is currently fundraising through their Dry Feb event. Danielle Mytopher is participating and has raised over $800 in just under one week. Photo by Jessica Colby.

Danielle Mytopher started participating in the Dry Feb campaign hoping to raise $500 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Just under a week into the month of February, Mytopher had already raised more than $800.

“I think within the first 24 hours I had surpassed that goal,” Mytopher said. “So now I’m just kind of excited.”

Dry Feb is a campaign put on by the Canadian Cancer Society in an effort to get Canadians to limit their alcohol consumption. The campaign challenges participants to not consume alcohol — or “go dry” — for 28 days. It also strives to help more Canadians realize there is a direct link between alcohol consumption and cancer. This year is the sixth anniversary of the Dry Feb fundraising event.

February is also National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month.

Mytopher was inspired to take part because of the support systems the Canadian Cancer Society offers. She learned about these supports when some of her family members, which include her mother and her father-in-law, went through cancer treatments.

“When I saw that ‘Dry Feb’ come up, it came on TV a few times, and I thought to myself, ‘You know what, I would actually really like to participate in something like this to support those going through cancer and support the Canadian Cancer Society in their efforts to help people,’ ” said Mytopher.

“It’s a real hard thing to go through cancer, whether or not your diagnosis is good or bad.”

Funds raised for Dry Feb are donated to the Canadian Cancer Society to fund cancer research as well as various supports for cancer, such as a helpline to provide support information.

“One of the main reasons I participated, honestly, it’s just because I saw the support system that the Canadian Cancer Society can give you,” said Mytopher. “The cancer lodge is absolutely amazing. My mom and dad have been there and it’s been a huge support and a huge resource.”

According to the Dry Feb website, there are over 30,000 people participating in the campaign with over $3.2 million already raised.

This year the Canadian Cancer Society is trying something new with Dry Feb. They have introduced “Dry(ish) Feb,” which allows flexibility as participants can go dry for any time period that works best for them.

People can fundraise for cancer in more than one way. Dry Feb is one of those ways and Movember — which supports men’s cancers, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer — is another.

“Ultimately I would like it if nobody ever got cancer again,” said Mytopher. “That would be my wish and goal.”

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