Young Company troupe trades costumes, makeup for soap, suds

August 16, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Theatre Orangeville’s Young Company put their acting skills to one side and gave a genuine performance when they greeted visitors to their car wash on Saturday, August 11.

The car wash, held in the parking lot at Mark’s Work Wearhouse, was a fundraiser to help support cancer research.

Organizer and theatre mom Fiona Ross found she has a very rare form of cancer for which there is no real treatment and very little research has been done.

“I have an incredibly rare sarcoma. There’s no drugs for it in Canada, there’s no research, there’s nothing,” she explained. “I’m fundraising money to start the first-ever Canadian research for that cancer.”

This type of cancer, Ms. Ross explained, is slow-growing, but with so little research, statistics on survivors vary wildly, with survivability rates listed any where from three months to 30 years.

“I’m working with two groups – the Sarcoma Foundation of Canada, and I have contacted a doctor at Mount Siniai Hospital (Toronto) who is head of clinical trials and he is interested in taking some tissue samples and starting to get things started in Canada. What I’ve found is the big foundations don’t do anything with rare cancers.”

Ms. Ross reasons that while common cancers will obviously receive the most attention through funding and patient care, research on rarer forms of the disease might provide answers.

“My question is how do we know that one of those rare cancers doesn’t have the key to lead to much bigger discoveries. There’s no experts in Canada, no research, no drug treatment (in Canada).”

Having the theatre’s Young Company donate their time for the car wash was a partnership between Ms. Ross and the group of young actors.

“Fiona’s been a parent of kids in our Young Company for the better part of the decade,” said Theatre Orangeville Young Company program manager Sharyn Ayliffe. “The Theatre operates very much like a family. When Fiona approached us if the Young Company might be interested in hosting a car wash, of course our artistic David Nairn said he was with it. We have a combination of the two casts from this summer who have volunteered to come out and wash cars for three hours. Mark’s Work Wearhouse are a sponsor of the Theatre and their management team were all over it. They said of course we could use their lot for the warehouse.”

The car wash raised $723 for the effort which will go towards the final goal.

Ross said she is hoping to raise $50,000 to get the research started.

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