Cancer fundraiser carries on without its leader

The men at the gathering sang while the women danced. John Bolger, guitarist for the Undercovers played his custom Vadim bass mimicking a ballad made famous by Chicago. More than anything, he played for his daughter Lindsay.

“I can’t avoid not thinking about it,” said Bolger, recalling the passing of his 26-year-old daughter.

Lindsay Bolger died of brain cancer nearly a year ago. Nevertheless, Oct. 1 marked the fourth annual B-Strong Bash at Angus Glen Golf Club in Unionville, Ont. Over 700 people from the Markham/Unionville area gathered to support Lindsay Bolger’s drive to find a cure.

The surviving members of Lindsay Bolger’s family wanted to continue her work, including her older brother Ryan.

“Knowing the dedication and effort that she put in to overcome her struggles, it would be selfish of us not to carry on her spirit,” Ryan Bolger said.

The annual B-Strong bash began as a university project about four years ago. At the time Lindsay Bolger was studying at St. Francis Xavier; she founded B-Strong by selling baseball caps for patients undergoing radiation treatment. Her organization then expanded to fund research for brain cancer in North America. To date B-Strong has raised $350,000. Her brother explained that Lindsay Bolger herself had brain cancer at the time she initiated B-Strong.

During the latest fund-raiser, those present spoke about Lindsay Bolger’s dedication and positive energy throughout her ordeal; they said that she set an example for the rest of her family and her peers. Her father admitted that his daughter taught him many life lessons.

“We learned how much energy is wasted if you’re negative. She fooled people into thinking she wasn’t sick because she was so positive and energetic,” John Bolger said.

Those attending the fourth edition of the B-Strong Bash didn’t mourn Lindsay’s passing. During the evening, many recognized the young woman’s dedication. They said rather that quit when she faced death, she never stopped to think of her own disease. Ryan Bolger assembled a video tribute for his sister, highlighting key moments they shared as brother and sister, as well as her impact on the community as the founder of B-Strong.

“We’ve seen some indications that make us think she’s still with us,” John Bolger said. He said that a rainbow appeared in the sky after Lindsay Bolger died, despite the fact that no rain fell that day.