Team Onward gathers for a group photo, as part of the “Lose the Booze” campaign in support of the BC Cancer Foundation, taken onboard HMCS Calgary. (From left) Lt. (N) Adam Thomson, Lt. (N) Sonja Maul-Wilson, Sub-Lt. Sean Place, Adam Checketts, Lt. (N) Sean Milley, Warrant Officer Steven Lewington, Lt. (N) Cass van Benthem Jutting, Dusty Johnston and Lt. (N) Alex Johnston. Photo by Master Cpl. Brent Kenny

CFB Esquimalt cancer survivors ‘lose the booze’ for February

HMCS Calgary-led Team Onward the top fundraiser in challenge supporting BC Cancer Foundation

The numbers are grim – one in two people in British Columbia will experience cancer in their lifetime.

Lt. Sean Milley came face to face with that reality when not only he was diagnosed with cancer, so were two of his shipmates on HMCS Calgary.

“We’re not okay with that stat,” says Victoria resident Milley, a father of two. “The disease has affected us all differently, but we all know the burden cancer puts on our lives and the lives of our loved ones.”

To that end, Milley assembled a team – most members are his shipmates – who would forgo alcohol for the month of February in the BC Cancer Foundation’s “Lose the Booze” fundraising challenge.

Team Onward, named for the motto of their ship, set a goal of $7,500, but just 10 days into the challenge it was met. The crew regrouped and upped the ante to $10,000 and as of press time, were sitting just above the $8,700 mark.

Milley says giving up booze for the month hasn’t been all that difficult – the benefits are twofold because it’s a healthy lifestyle choice. “So many cancers are attributed to alcohol,” he adds.

Ultimately, the challenge has given the team the opportunity to make a difference, something Milley considers worth supporting.

“Cancer has affected our lives, but we will continue to carry onward.”

To help support Team Onward’s fundraising efforts, visit losethebooze.ca.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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