The Surrey Beavers rugby club has spent the last six years raising money for cancer research during their annual ‘Ruck for the Cure.’
During their annual event last weekend, the club raised more than $15,000 for cancer research. Over the last six years, the Beavers have raised nearly $100,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Not only are their contributions being felt in the community, but within their own clubhouse as well.
Last year, Beavers flanker Andrew McIntyre was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Even though it was his first season with the team, his new teammates rallied around him immediately.
“I was just doing some regular testicle Tuesday checks to make sure everything was alright, and I felt a lump down there. Once I went to the doctors, everything was expedited, and everything with the doctors happened super fast.”
“That’s when you know something bad has happened.”
McIntyre was only a few games into playing with his new team when he received the diagnoses. His teammates treated him like one of their own and were by his side through the whole ordeal.
“I love the club so much because they always supported me,” McIntyre said. Whatever they could do, they did. I’m eternally grateful for these guys and how lovely they are.”
“All the boys came together and helped me pay rent when I couldn’t work. They just give me lots of love and told me that anything I needed, they’d be there for me. They always came down and visited me.”
The 25-year-old had his testicle removed, but by then, the cancer had already spread to lymph nodes in his stomach. He was then put through nine weeks of chemotherapy.
“The first three weeks were fine, but the last six weeks were terrible. I didn’t work as much, felt like trash, and I lost my hair in the first two weeks.”
Aside from the team supporting him personally, they put together fundraising events specifically for McIntyre. The largest event was a pub fundraiser at The Lions pub in Delta.
“We had over 100 tickets for the pub fundraiser and it got to the point where we couldn’t give out any more tickets.”
While the team helped McIntyre throughout his cancer ordeal, his positive attitude and humour was an added bonus for someone in his situation.
“The very first time I heard the doctor tell me ‘I’m taking our your testicle,’ I was like, okay, cool.”
“That’s what I’ve got two for!”
Even throughout the whole ordeal, McIntyre didn’t sit idly on the sidelines.
“I’d proudly like to say that I didn’t miss any games,” he said.
“I didn’t go to practices, but I just tried to support the boys as best that I could.”
McIntyre was back out on the field for the Beavers on Saturday afternoon, now deemed three months cancer-free. He played in the division two game and subbed on for the division one game as well.
Both games were big wins for the Beavers. The division two squad beat Abbotsford Rugby Club 45-12 in a dominating performance. The division one team also picked up a 48-22 victory.
The division three team wasn’t able to snag a victory against Meraloma, losing 22-5 against the Vancouver-based club. The division two girls did win 24-22, with a last-minute try against Langley Rugby Club.