Surrey's Deb Imada warms up for the 'bumspiel' she's organized to raise awareness and money for colorectal cancer research. The event is being held at the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster on Saturday.

Surrey's Deb Imada warms up for the 'bumspiel' she's organized to raise awareness and money for colorectal cancer research. The event is being held at the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster on Saturday.

‘Bumspiel’ to raise awareness of colorectal cancer

Surrey survivor invites public to fund-raising curling event on Saturday (March 31) in the Royal City.

When most people survive cancer, they just want to put the disease and its gruelling treatment behind them.

Not Surrey’s Deb Imada.

That’s because her cancer was in her behind. And now she’s made it her mission to put colorectal cancer in the forefront of people’s minds.

She’s doing that by organizing the second annual Bumspiel for Colorectal Cancer, to be held at the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster on Saturday (March 31).

The event is a fundraiser for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. But more importantly, Imada hopes it will raise awareness about the disease and how to survive it.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian men and women combined. Of the approximately 22,000 Canadians diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year, 8,900 will die from it. Those are grim numbers considering the disease is curable 90 per cent of the time – if it’s caught early.

It’s that last part that hangs most people up, says Imada. It’s not easy to talk about your backside, and “people are so fearful about getting a colonoscopy.”

In fact, cancer was the furthest thing from Imada’s mind when she went to her doctor to get checked out for a possible recurrence of the hemorrhoids that had plagued her after her son was born four years earlier. Her family had no history of colorectal cancer, she’d never had a problem with benign polyps, she was active, and she was only 43 years old – seven years younger than the primary risk group.

But when her doctor said she felt a lump during her examination, Imada’s world turned upside down.

Four months of tests, two surgeons and five days of radiation treatment later, the tumour was removed.

“The waiting is the hardest part,” says Imada. “The whole time I felt like a ticking time bomb.”

But her battle didn’t end there. Six months of chemotherapy stretched to eight. She suffered numerous side effects, including painful numbness in her fingers and the bottoms of her feet. She says there were days she was so physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, she couldn’t get out of bed.

Regular screenings to ensure she remained clear of cancer are emotionally agonizing.

“It’s like the doctors say, ‘we’ve cured you but the chances of recurrence are highest in the first two years’,” she says.

Every colonoscopy or CT scan, she hopes and prays for a clean report. She’ll continue to be screened for the rest of her life. It’s like a fellow patient once told her, “We’re out of the woods, but we’re not yet out of the forest.”

During her battle with colorectal cancer, a colleague at work was also diagnosed with the disease and eventually died from it. That’s when she made a promise to him, and to herself, to help spread the word about the disease and the importance of early detection through regular screening.

“It makes me mad when someone dies from this because it’s so curable,” Imada says.

A recreational curler at the Royal City Curling Club before she was diagnosed, Imada came up with the idea of a “bumspiel” because her son had shown interest in the sport while watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The clever play on words helped as well, she says.

It’s a non-competitive event that Imada promises will be just as much fun for beginners as hardcore stonethrowers. It’s even attracted a team of four doctors from the Netherlands who specialize in colorectal cancer and found out about the bumspiel while searching the Internet. There will be door prizes as well as an award for the top fundraiser.

To find out more, email Imada at or go to

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read