When he went to hospital with a severe stomach ache last year, 28-year-old Shaun Gauthier thought it might be food poisoning, the result of some bad lobster meat.
It turned out to be Angiosarcoma, an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer.
“When I get out of here, we’re going to do even bigger fundraising,” said Gauthier, who grew up in Surrey.
As event director for Coors Light, Gauthier had already helped two high school buddies, twin brothers Chris and Jamie Ruscheinski, stage events to raise money for cancer research to honour the memory of their mother.
But just two weeks after he was diagnosed, Gauthier died.
It was a shock for his family and the many friends of the broad-shouldered 6’2″ Gauthier, an avid athlete and accomplished martial artist.
On July 9, the Ruscheinski brothers will stage a barbecue and beach party at Willoughby Park behind the Langley Events Centre to remember the Langley friend they called “Shaun G” and to raise money for cancer research.
They picked a Langley location because it happens to be near Gauthier’s many friends in the Cloverdale and Langley area and they went with a beach barbecue as an appropriate theme for the good-natured, party-friendly Gauthier.
“He was very, very energetic, very enthusiastic,” his mother Grace Gauthier says. “Such a life force.”
Money from the “forever young” beach party will go to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Shaun G. Foundation.
A previous fundraiser by the twins for the foundation raised $100,000.
The Langley event has already raised $40,000 through raffle ticket sales.
Admission to the event is $20 in advance or $30 at the door.
If the weather is poor, the twins have a backup plan that involves moving the beach party under a “very large” dome next door.
For more details, visit http://twinscancerfundraising.com.