Cancer battle inspires fundraiser


Mavis Goss
by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

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Battling lung cancer hasn’t deterred Mavis Goss from helping sick children and their families.

The Red Deer woman has organized the first Mavis Goss Open to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House to be built near Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Goss, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer last October, wanted to give back to the community she has enjoyed for the last 10 years.

The native Manitoban supports Ronald McDonald House’s mission to allow families to comfortably remain together while loved ones get the medical care and attention they require.

“When we were in Edmonton and I was in the hospital, my husband had to stay in a hotel,” said Goss, 48. “That made me think about what it would be like for a family if they were out of town and had to stay somewhere.”

In January, Goss began organizing the tournament.

A kick-off event was held on Thursday at Red Deer Lodge. It included a live band, a silent auction and an autograph signing with Canadian mixed martial artist Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald of Red Deer.

Nearly 170 golfers teed off for Friday’s sold-out tournament at Alberta Springs Golf Course west of Red Deer.

Goss’s goal is to raise $100,000 for Ronald McDonald House. About $50,000 has come in so far.

All proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House project.

Goss said she was surprised by the outpouring of generosity, from corporate sponsors to golf participants.

“It’s touched my heart in more ways than one. It gives me strength and courage to fight my cancer, and it’s given me hope,” said Goss, who has chosen to pursue alternative treatments rather than chemotherapy.

Despite learning this week that her cancer had spread within the same area, Goss said she doesn’t let the news bring her down. She has a lot to live for, becoming a grandmother for the first time a few months ago. She has two sons in their 20s, plus two stepchildren age 16 and 20.

Goss added the support of her husband, Ron, has been amazing.

“It’s so awesome that they started digging this week (at the Ronald McDonald site) when I’m doing this,” Goss said.

The 11-suite house will provide low-cost accommodations for Central Alberta families with critically ill babies, sick children and high-risk pregnancies being treated at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

The anticipated opening for the $10.5-million house is June 2011.

ltester@reddeeradvocate.com

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