Showing Cancer the Bird
May 19, 2015
Here at the Canary Foundation, one could say that we have an inherent fondness towards birds. So when Diana Handy approached us with an idea to put on an all-day bird watch to raise money for early detection cancer research, it certainly didn’t ruffle our feathers.
Diana Handy grew up loving animals. This she attributes to her mother who raised Diana on a healthy dose of nature and the outdoors. When Diana was a young girl, she used to gaze upon the bird feeder, nestled in the magnolia tree of her front yard, with an awe-inspiring curiosity of the birds that perched upon it. It was there that Diana’s mother helped Diana identify birds for the first time; thus nurturing Diana into the nature loving, bird watching enthusiast she is today!
Tragically, in July of 2014, Diana’s mother succumbed to ovarian cancer after a two year battle; a diagnosis that was unfortunately too late to beat. Two months after her mother’s passing, Diana started thinking about future holidays – Mother’s Day in particular – and
how to cope with the change in her life. Diana wanted to do something special to honor her mother on Mother’s Day, but didn’t know quite what. Then, it clicked: an all-day bird-a-thon to raise money for early detection cancer research.
After searching for a charity that suited a cause she believed in, Diana found the Canary Foundation and instantly empathized with our founder, our cause, and our name. We at the Canary Foundation were truly touched when Diana reached out to us and told us about her grassroots idea to help support our mission. With the assembly of a few of Diana’s friends, a profile on Crowdrise, and the May date set, Team Life Bird was formed and thus “Counting for a Cure” was underway.
On Mother’s Day 2015, Diana and Team Life Bird headed out to Cape May, New Jersey to begin the all-day bird-a-thon. After dense fog, breezy weather, and a tropical storm holding up migration, Team Life Bird was able to spot 96 birds, while raising over $5,000 in the process. Way to go, Team!
Even Diana herself saw the day as a success:
“It was a tough day being it was the first Mother’s Day without my mom, but I was glad to be doing something positive to honor her and the many other mom’s that have been lost too soon from cancer. The team had a great time and a couple of the team members got “life birds” (a term used for birds that birders have not seen / heard before) so that was a treat for them and goes along with the double meaning of our team’s name. There is talk of doing this again next year…we shall see”.
We hope so too, Diana! Great job to everyone on Team Life Bird, and to all who supported the team. We will be keeping our eyes out for you next year.