Children’s charity tour on board HMCS Regina

Trey Stylez Bruneau (left) and Clara Issel (right), members of the Chris Knox Foundation, sit in the Executive Officer’s chair on the bridge of HMCS Regina May 31 during a day sail at sea. Photo by LS Mike Goluboff, MARPAC Imaging Services

Trey Stylez Bruneau (left) and Clara Issel (right), members of the Chris Knox Foundation, sit in the Executive Officer’s chair on the bridge of HMCS Regina May 31 during a day sail at sea. Photo by LS Mike Goluboff, MARPAC Imaging Services

SLt M.X. Déry, MARPAC PA Office ~

After nearly half a year of anticipation, eleven youth from the Chris Knox Foundation sailed aboard HMCS Regina May 31 as part of a scheduled family day sail.

The foundation helps young Saskatchewan cancer patients attend sporting, fine arts, and cultural events during treatment, giving them a much-deserved reprieve and creating some happy memories with their families.

The Foundation was inspired by Chris Knox and his battle with cancer. His family and friends raised funds to send him and 10 other children undergoing cancer treatment to the Grey Cup in Toronto before he succumbed to cancer in 2007.

“It fills me with emotion to think that a young man was able to open up about his cancer, that we were able to start up this foundation, and people like those in HMCS Regina have pulled together to help us,” said Sharla Folk, mother of the late Chris Knox, who expressed her deep connection with the crew.

“You’re like our sons,” she said to the crew. “I know my Chris would have been over the world to experience this.”

She added that some of the recipients had never been on a plane, much less seen the coast aboard a Royal Canadian Navy warship.

“Really, it is a chance to come out here and enjoy themselves and forget about some of the problems they’re dealing with and just get a day to be treated like gold,” said Cdr Colin Matthews, commanding officer of Regina.

The day was filled with events, from touring the ship and experiencing high speed manoeuvres, to watching a diver jump from a helicopter, to firing blank rounds from the .50 calibre machine gun.

An unabashed Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, Lt(N) Tracy Tkachuk helped the ship connect to its namesake city, not just to his favoured sports team, but also the Chris Knox Foundation.

“Hopefully, 10 years from now, I’ll be reading the Lookout and seeing that kids from Regina are still coming out here to sail on board Regina,” said Lt(N) Tkachuk.

After the sail, the youth prepared to fly home to Saskatchewan after their busy schedule of events in and around Victoria, from visiting the inner harbour to Butchart Gardens, and even going as far as Cathedral Grove.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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