The 16th annual Nite of Hope was awash with emotion, star power, and generosity April 8 at the River Rock Show Theatre.
The event, a fundraiser for breast cancer, was an upbeat celebration featuring recording artist Bif Naked, a breast cancer survivor, who told the packed crowd it was a pleasure to be asked to be the event’s guest speaker.
“On a night such as this, when we’re all together in one room, with one purpose — to celebrate. To celebrate the hope that we have and the hope that we are going to have when we part ways tonight,” said Naked.
The music star said it made her heart melt sharing a room with other breast cancer survivors.
But she wasn’t always a survivor — once, she was a breast cancer patient.
She counts her performing career as a “blessed life” which changed in 2007 when she discovered a lump in her breast. Suddenly, her full-time job went from recording artist to cancer patient. The shift was unsettling, although she considers treatment in B.C. to be among the best in the country.
“You are out of your full time routine, never mind being terrified,” she said. “And you start the process that we are lucky to have in this province. If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer this is where you want to live. And I’m glad that I live here.”
Naked said that she went through six rounds of chemotherapy and 11 rounds of Herceptin — a breast cancer medication that can sometimes shrink tumors via infusions.
She also had to have a lumpectomy.
Over the years, Naked has not only produced unique and critically acclaimed rock albums she has also spent time acting and has become an influential motivational speaker in her community.
Naked said she feels privileged to be able to stand in front of a crowd like the one at the River Rock now as a healthy woman, moving forward with her life.
“I must have won the lottery,” she said.
“All of us that have survived, we do have one thing in common, for sure, and that is hope. And we feel it, we share it, and we create it in other people.”
Naked said that part of her responsibility moving forward as a cancer survivor includes living a full life.
“I always say, touch fingertips to your heart three times. No one has to know, and say thank you to yourself, to the world around you, and to your purpose in life. Tonight, our collective purposes is to share our hope, and hope to inspire that in others.”