Friends of the Heart

Ten of Hearts set to walk the Women's Fall Challenge Sept. 30

Whenever they find a heart-shaped rock

Founded through common bonds and friendship, for the past 17 years Sue Dumaine, Linda Booth and their network of women friends have built rock-solid relationships that have sustained them through successes and adversities.

Every month, one of the friends hosts the group, deciding what the activity will be, sometimes just a nice dinner, sometimes a weekend of fun.

Recently, they gathered at one of the friend’s cabin on the Blackwater.

Over the years, as a group, they have reached out to the community, arranging events such as Christmas parties for seniors.

Regardless of what they do, these friends do it together.

“Making time for friends isn’t a luxury, it’s a healthy necessity,” Linda said.

They named their group the Ten of Hearts, a name that means a lot to each of them.

“Hearts signify emotions. They rule closest relationships such as parent/child, love, marriage and friendship,” Linda said.

“And the number ten relates to happiness and good luck, strong family connections and bonds between love and friendship.”

For her monthly

activity, Sue decided they were entering the Women’s Fall Challenge, Sept. 30.

Each woman treasures the heart-shaped stones they’ve collected over the years and Sue said each will carry a favourite rock on the walk.

“Individually, most of us have participated,” Sue said.

“I wanted us to do it together.”

Although several have run the half marathon, to accommodate everyone, Ten of Hearts will be doing the 5K walk.

Linda, who sustained an injury, will be part of the bike patrol as she’s not up to the walk just yet.

“It’s such a high,” Sue said.

“All the women coming together to share a common cause.

“It gives me goosebumps.”

Linda added there’s such a feeling of energy with women supporting each other.

Both women said cancer has touched every one of them in one way or another and through the years the ten women have supported each other as they weathered their experiences.

“This event is about our group doing this together and supporting each other regardless of our connection to the cause,” Linda said.

“And there’s such a sense of being part of the community, especially in a small town like Quesnel.”

For the Ten of Hearts it’s all about sharing their challenges, not fixing anyone’s troubles.

“We just want to be there for each other,” Sue said.

The group often includes their partners in monthly activities and the WFC is also inclusive of men (not in the traditional participation but in a supportive role.)

“I admire the men wanting to be part of WFC who are happy to take a back seat,” Sue said.

The WFC includes men in the bike patrol, water stations and other roles in support of the more than 500 women who participate in the 5K, 10K walk and run as well as the half marathon.

“It’s not an exclusive event, but the focus is definitely on women,” Linda said.

Sue and Linda also said that many of the women’s daughters, when they are in town, also participate in the WFC.

This event is another opportunity for the Ten of Hearts to savour time spent together.

“We enjoy the love and strength of our friendship,” Linda said.

“The group knows each other so well. It’s a safe place to face our trials and tribulations.

“We celebrate everyone’s success and challenges, including each other’s families.”

The Women’s Fall Challenge sign-up information is available at many locations in the community.

Completed registration forms can be dropped off at the Arts and Recreation Centre, together with  payment, by cheque, Interact or cash, made

out to the City of Quesnel.

Although the deadline has passed for early registration, $30 regular registration between Sept. 17 – 28 and late registration of $40 may be made on Sept. 29 at WFC package pickup at the Arts and Rec Centre or on Sept. 30 by 8:15 a.m. at Dragon Lake elementary school.

Online registration is open until Sept. 28 at

The event also includes a lunch at the UNBC/CNC campus atrium, for $15, but seating is limited so register early.

Women from as young as six and as senior as they choose are invited to participate, with all proceeds to the G.R. Baker Memorial

Hospital mammography unit.

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