Tomorrow the Westin Bayshore downtown is hosting the BC Cancer Agency Community Cancer Forum with an impressive line-up of speakers including local singer, songwriter and internationally-acclaimed artist Bif Naked. She will sharing her personal story about her battle with breast cancer over the last two years.
Having been a fan of her work since the single “Daddy’s Getting Married” hit the airwaves in 1995, I was delighted to have the chance to speak to Bif this morning. I wanted to learn more about how she went from playing punk shows to being on a different stage, championing such an important cause (and how she still combines the two in her daily life).
“I wish I could do it full time,” said Bif over the phone as she prepared for her Grey Cup Festival performance in Edmonton this Sunday (after coming back to Vancouver tomorrow for the forum). “I always like to make a joke that cancer was the first vacation I’ve had in 20 years.” However after being diagnosed in 2008, Bif did anything but rest. She went on to write and record her sixth studio album, The Promise, while undergoing 13 months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Bif will be sharing her personal experiences at tomorrow’s forum; how she has persevered and the stories that she feels need to be told. “One thing that I was really fortunate to have experienced was just the ability to sit with other patients during treatments or around the treatment center.” She added that people always rally around family members and friends however there’s always a sense of imposition. “Societally, there’s such a need for dialog among people – there’s so much shame and embarassement around cancer specifically and people tend to go inward and I guess just hunker down.”
She is seizing this opportunity to bring awareness to this lack of discussion and conversation about what is happening to people in our community. “I’ve got the gift of a big mouth that I’ve been blessed with anyway so if I can open dialog, create any awareness at all and lend my support for cancer patients and their families, that’s my goal and I love it.”
The forum runs from 9:30am until 4:00pm Saturday November 27th and registration is not required — this event is open to everyone.