Bauer's war on cancer ongoing

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

If today's the day that you or a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer, Lyle Bauer wants you to remember that you are not alone.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers president and CEO is a fighter, and yesterday he launched two more initiatives that will ensure the battle against the disease never ceases in Manitoba.

Bauer, who began the Never Alone campaign last year after being diagnosed with throat cancer, announced the implementation of the Never Alone Foundation and the Never Alone Difference Makers awards program.

The foundation's goal is to create awareness, promote cancer education and research and provide patient and family support services.

"What we didn't want was it to be sort of a one-hit wonder," Bauer said of the Never Alone campaign.

Bauer's efforts last year, which included donating the proceeds from the CFL coach of the year award luncheon and Never Alone wristband sales, raised more than $100,000.

"I hope this foundation will grow and grow," said CancerCare Manitoba president and CEO Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal.

The Never Alone Difference Makers program, meanwhile, will be ushered in on April 12 at the Never Alone Luncheon fundraiser at Canad Inns Polo Park. The program will recognize those who have made significant contributions to the Never Alone campaign.

The luncheon promises to be an emotional and gripping affair, as Bauer will give the audience an intimate glimpse of his cancer battle -- something he has refused to do publicly since being diagnosed in the fall of 2004.

"2005 was unquestionably -- unquestionably -- the worst year of my life personally and professionally," Bauer said. "We had a cancer diagnosis, what we went through there, and we had a sh---y football team."

Bauer is back at full strength, and he vows to use every ounce of his energy for two things that are very important to him.

"What this does is it just heightens that burning desire," he said. "We want to win a Grey Cup, we want the stadium full, we want to make money for the football club and we want to support this fight (against cancer).

"I've got vested interests in all of them, and probably none larger than the latter."

Tickets for the April 12 luncheon can be purchased by calling the Bomber office at 784-2583.


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