John and Kelly Baines are determined to "Strike Down" breast cancer by hosting a fundraising event called "Bowling for Boobs". Since 2009, over $43,000 has been raised with last year raisng over $31,000, exceeding their original goal of $20,000!
Kelly Baines (2010):
One of the most important people in a young lady’s life is her mother. At an early age of fourteen I lost my mother to cancer. After an up and down battle over a course of six years, I saw many things that a child should not. From surgeries, to chemotherapy and radiation sessions, I saw my mother fighting back. However she eventually succumbed to the disease just after I had entered high school. I didn’t just lose my mother; I lost my best friend, my main supporter, and my confidant. I spiralled into a state of depression and grief wanting to give up on sports and school but soon realized my mother wanted better. I knew what had to be done, I went on with life and began working hard in school again, and continued on with sports. She was my biggest supporter in bowling; travelling with me to all my tournaments and cheering me on but I knew she wouldn’t want me to quit. I was determined to continue on and brought her support on in my heart. When I was eighteen I won the provincial round of a tournament and went on to the Nationals. I also decided to try something new, and began wrestling in grade ten. After a year off with a broken clavicle I began again the following year. My success was limited but it brought me a sense of satisfaction knowing that I was going against the odds. I am not a stereotypical image of a wrestler and was often told that I should not wrestle for I was not strong enough. However, making it to OFSAA three years in a row and coming home within the top twelve in Ontario in 2011 proved all my doubters wrong.
I knew that I could not sit around and do nothing when it came to Cancer, I had to fight back. That is why I began the event “Bowling for Boobs” a fundraiser towards Breast Cancer research. 2010 was our first year running the event and was highly successful. With the help of my father and many dedicated volunteers and donations we raised $12,000 for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. We have already announced a second event in 2011 and our goal is $20,000. I am proud to say that I would not be who I am today without the struggles in my life. But I learned from them and have grown to appreciate all the small things and people in my life.