Giving cancer the boot

Langley man aiming to kick 1,000 yards in field goals in memory of his father

Below: Josh Collins is aiming to kick 100

Josh Collins is trying to give cancer the boot.

More specifically, the former football player is hoping to kick 100,000 yards in field goals — 2,858 field goals of 35 yards apiece — in 48 hours in his quest to raise $100,000.

The money would be used to help families take care of their loved one who are battling cancer.

“I know first hand just how hard it is,” said the 31-year-old Collins.

Collins’ father Ron was diagnosed in August 2008 with lung cancer, despite never smoking a day in his life.

Eight months later, he passed away.

“He was my biggest supporter, my biggest fan,” Collins said.

“He was my sounding board, my guy I would go to for advice whether it was life or sport, he was the guy who would sit down with me . . . and taught me there are more things than sport and being super wealthy.

“It was about helping people.”

“I watched as my Mom (Susan) had to work full-time while taking care of him.

“It took a huge toll on my Mom,” he said.

After his father passed away, Collins and his Mom tried to come up with an idea to bring awareness to the plight of families dealing with similar situations.

“Billions of dollars goes to cancer research, which is great, but the families always get forgotten,” he said.

“The physical and mental stress it put on her was not needed.”

Collins played soccer growing up and always had a strong leg.

When he was 13, he decided to give football a try as a kicker and was lucky enough to get a few pointers from B.C. Lions’ legend Lui Passaglia.

Collins played in the B.C. Junior Football Conference a few seasons before playing professionally in the U.S. in the af2, the developmental league of the Arena Football League.

He retired about five years ago because of a knee injury.

Collins, who grew up in Surrey, now lives in Langley and works as an outside sales rep for Gregg Distributors Ltd. He and his wife Sarah have an eight-year-old son Braedon and two girls, Cali, 2, and 11-month-old Maysa.

“Whenever I am kicking, it is that zone where no one can touch me,” Collins said.

“I feel rested, relaxed and just in my own little world and I know that my dad is sitting there on my shoulder.

“I think he gave me the idea to help people who are in need.”

For the past eight months, Collins has spent his evenings on the football/rugby field at Willoughby Community Park, practising for the big event.

It will take place on Friday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. and continue  for 48 hours until Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at Richmond’s Sportstown BC (4991 No. 5 Rd.).

For more information, email or click here.

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