Daffodil Month over, but fight against cancer goes on

April campaign's colourful symbol has its own history

April marked the Canadian Cancer Society’s 60th Daffodil Month. According to Patricia McLaughlin, manager of community campaigns at the Canadian Cancer Society, Daffodil Month had an interesting start.

“Sixty years ago, it was Lady Eaton whose family owned Eaton’s department store. She started to do some fundraising lunches or fundraising teas and she used daffodils to decorate them. It basically became the symbol for the month and then the symbol on our logo for the Canadian Cancer Society,” McLaughlin said. She added that the symbolism behind the daffodil is significant.

“The daffodil is chosen because it’s a flower that no matter what kind of winter we have, no matter what weather, it always comes up in the spring. It’s really bright and beautiful, so it really symbolizes that you can go through a lot and then come out the other side as good as new, which is our hope for everyone fighting a battle against cancer,” McLaughlin said.

The Canadian Cancer Society aimed to raise $300,000 in the GTA during Daffodil Month. As April gave way to May, a final tally wasn’t yet available — but the funds raised will be used for support services and research.

And the purpose of the month goes beyond fundraising — into raising awareness.

“The goal is to create awareness so that people are aware of the work that’s being done, are aware of the fact that there are a lot of people out there who you might pass on the street who are either dealing with cancer or a family member is, and we have our daffodil pins so when people are wearing the pin it basically shows support to all of those individuals,” said McLaughlin, explaining that they hope this awareness will lead to more people visiting their doctors and greater prevention.

The Canadian Cancer Society had many volunteers stationed across Toronto throughout the month.

“Within the whole GTA, we’re going to have over a thousand,” McLaughlin said last month as they were fanning out. “Within East York itself, we have shifts for close to a hundred volunteers because we have different Loblaws locations and LCBO locations that we’ll have volunteers at.” They sold daffodil pins all month — but actual daffodils complemented the pins at Loblaws locations from April 18th.