Ridge Meadows RCMP welcomed a new chief this week, if only for a day.
Logan Lay, a 20-year-old woman who is currently undergoing treatment for brain cancer, was named chief of police for the day at an event held at the RCMP detachment Thursday.
The event was focused on raising money for two local RCMP officers who are riding for Cops for Cancer.
As Supt. Jennifer Hyland said before the event, the detachment wanted to make the day about more than just raising money, even though it’s for a good cause.
“We wanted to celebrate young men and women like Logan and their families who are living with this every day, and to shine a light on them,” said Hyland, whose son plays on the same lacrosse team as Logan’s younger brother Brody.
That’s how Hyland got to know the Lays, who jumped at the idea when Hyland presented it to them.
“We’re always happy to commit to events throughout the year, because it gives us something to look forward to and work towards,” said Logan’s mom, Jennifer Montgomery.
“There’s not a lot of awareness of child cancer,” she continued. “It’s used a lot for fundraising, but it’s rare to hear stories about actually living with it. So any opportunity to do that is rewarding for us.”
Logan’s story has been ongoing for 12 years. Her diagnosis in 2005 led to six years of extensive chemotherapy and multiple surgeries.
In 2011, her cancer responded to the treatment, and Logan enjoyed five years of being a normal teenager.
She eventually enrolled part-time at Douglas College, studying early childhood education.
“Her goal was to help other kids with cancer, just like she was once,” Montgomery said. “She wanted to be part of the solution, and she still does.”
Then, last August, the tumor came back, and Logan and her family have been back into treatment since.
Logan didn’t show much strain, as she was given tours of the police boat and the forensics lab during her tour of duty as police chief.
“She’s always been really good at rallying for events like these,” her mom said. “Obviously some days are harder than others, but she puts on a good face.”
The event also featured the superintendent’s 11-year-old daughter, Laina, cutting off her hair to be donated to cancer patients in need of wigs.
Laina, who had been growing her hair for three years, started a fundraising page for her bold fashion choice, and it raised $2,900 for the detachment’s Cops for Cancer riders, officers Tony Vanags and Gregg Holland.
The money raised was more than her original goal.
Cops for Cancer riders have to raise a minimum of $6,000 each to qualify for the ride.
Because officers are often too busy on the job to make face time with potential donors, Hyland felt Thursday’s event was a good way to get the word out and reach that financial goal.
“[Today] is not about the RCMP,” Hyland said. “It’s about the Lays and it’s about the riders.
“We just wanted to use our resources to support a worthy cause.”