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The Yellow Flower of Support

by Jennifer Luce, Living with Cancer. 

The daffodil is the Canadian Cancer Society’s symbol of hope in the fight against cancer. For years prior to my diagnosis, I remember these lovely flowers being sold in front of stores in late March and early April.

A few years ago, the Canadian Cancer Society began an initiative similar to Remembrance Day – wear a pin in support and memory, but instead of a red poppy, a yellow daffodil. In the spring of 2010, just after the Olympic Games here in Vancouver, a pilot Daffodil Pin campaign was launched in BC, with plans to go nationwide the following year. It was a huge success!

Though spring has not yet sprung here on the west coast of Canada, I am looking forward to the weeks ahead where supportive people affected by cancer don a pretty yellow daffodil on their lapel. The money raised from the sale of these happy blooms in the Daffodil Days Fundraising Campaign  goes towards the fight against cancer.

I am happy to see these bright and cheerful flowers after having survived another Canadian winter, although, I really can’t complain.  We don’t get much snow here, and it doesn’t get very cold, but my goodness, can the days ever be dark and dreary. Another spring also means one more I get to enjoy after being diagnosed and cured of a rare form of ovarian cancer five years ago, at the age of 29.

When I was first introduced to the Cancer Agency, doom and gloom were the only things I could think of. The colour yellow was the last thing that could cheer me up. When I attended the Victory Lap of my first Relay for Life on my 30th birthday, the yellow t-shirt that was handed to me was meant to announce to all when I wore it, that I am a survivor. The problem was, I was scared of this shirt. It didn’t remind me that I had survived this fight; it reminded me of the fight itself.  And I was terrified.

For months, whenever I opened my t-shirt drawer and saw the “yellow-monster” in the drawer, I would have to shove it to the back, or close the drawer quickly. I couldn’t handle the reminder. The physiological and psychological effects of the diagnosis did a number on my spirit, and I had to desensitize myself to what had happened.

A year later, I had an easier time realizing that the t-shirt, or more importantly the colour yellow, was a symbol to others that there was hope and that they are not alone in this fight. I wear my t-shirt proudly now, and when I see others with the same shirt on, or wearing the pretty daffodil pin, I know we are unified and part of a powerful and strong community.

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4 Responses to The Yellow Flower of Support

  1. Emily says:

    I had no idea that daffodils were the flower of hope for people battling cancer. I’ve always loved the flower, and now I think I’ll look at them a little differently.
    I have a friend who is battling cancer right now, and she can use all the hope she can get. Sometimes I see her looking for a straw to grasp on to, even if it’s just that the sky is clear and the breeze feels good on her face. She’s really close to beating cancer, and as soon as it’s done, we’re going to celebrate. I’ve been collecting a few things to give her at her last chemo session, like a book (“Face Forward” by Michele Howe Clarke –, tickets to a concert, and now I’m going to get her a bunch of daffodils.

  2. louie says:

    Why in particular daffodil is picked as cancer struggle symbol,not some other type of flower?

  3. Community Cancer Services of Isabella County, located in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, is very interested in buying lapel pins or a silk flower yellow daffodil pin to sell as a fund raiser for our organization. One of our members has such a flower. Can you provide any information on who we can contact regarding such a purchase?

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