April has long been “daffodil month” for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS); the month that is synonymous with the Society’s annual fundraising campaign, even though fundraising is a year-long, 24/7 undertaking. In years past, who has not seen CCS volunteers and staff selling fresh daffodils door-to-door, in the local mall, at busy street corners and so on.
You may have seen recently that some CCS locations have decided that the annual campaign marked by fresh daffodil sales is being discontinued. Too hard to get fresh flowers in good condition at prices that make it worthwhile, no doubt.
But that doesn’t mean that the Society is abandoning the daffodil as its symbol of hope, renewal and purpose. Far from it! Since 2011 the Society has instead been distributing plastic daffodil pins to be worn proudly all through the month of April. The idea is to use the daffodil as a symbol of hope and remembrance and of support, much as a poppy is worn in November to show support for war veterans and for wartime victims the world over.
Much like the poppy campaign which has its culmination on November 11th each year, Daffodil Day is marked on April 27th annually to round out the CCS’s Daffodil Month.
The recognition of Daffodil Day is growing and it is my hope that the Federal government will one day officially declare April 27th annually as the country’s National Daffodil Day. Who knows, maybe one day the movement will grow to international proportions and the daffodil pin will be as synonymous the world over for showing support in the fight against cancer as the poppy pin is in a very different context.
The daffodil pin is meant to convey our support for all those patients and families who are currently on a cancer journey, to celebrate those who have pushed past that and are living beyond cancer, but also to remember and honour those who have died from cancer.
For me, it celebrates my sister-in-law Rachelle Wosnick who is in remission from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
It also honours the memory of my own father, Hyman Wosnick, who died in 2006 from colon cancer.
And it honours my father-in-law Ivan Nad who died from pancreatic cancer.
It is not too late to get your own pin if you don’t already have one. Wear it proudly wherever you go in April.
Who will you wear a daffodil pin for?