Angry note writer should keep judgment in check

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

It might be an old adage, but it’s a valuable piece of advice that many of us are guilty of forgetting from time to time. It seems one person in Whistler in particular needs a refresher.

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The mystery bully walked by a Porsche — emblazoned with “Colon Cancer Awareness” along the bottom of its door — parked in front of the Four Seasons hotel on Sunday (June 15) and was so offended that someone chose to spend their money on the pricy car that they took the time to stop and write a note.

It said, “Dear Stupid Porsche owner, Why don’t you try investing your money into actually helping people unfortunate enough to have colon cancer rather than spending over $100 grand on a car that actually spreads that. Your (sic) just a stupid idiot without any idea of what that money could have done to help people with health issues.”

What the note writer probably didn’t know is that Darren Pedersen, the owner of the car, was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer last August. He’s had six months of chemotherapy and radiation as well as an ileostomy to remove his large intestine and lymph nodes. His car was parked in the Upper Village as part of the Diamond Rally, an event in which luxury car owners drive their cars from Vancouver to Whistler.

The rally also served as a fundraiser. Pedersen raised $8,550 to help purchase a Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) machine for colorectal surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

His partner, Leanne Chan, hopes this information will reach the note writer. She reached out to The Question after she found the note — though she kept it from her partner worrying that it would upset him the way it upset his sister, who is recovering from a brain tumour herself.

“This Diamond Car Rally was (his) way of keeping his mind off of cancer and do something, namely build awareness for colon cancer and to encourage his friends, family and clients to go get checked,” Chan wrote. “His M.O. ‘Stop Cancer Before it Begins.’”

In the end, she hopes that the person will come forward and talk to the couple rather than judging them by the car they drive. “The person who wrote this note was unfair and totally cruel jumping to assumptions,” she said. “I want to challenge them to come forward to hear what we and others are doing to fight colon cancer and help others. I can be contacted at info@thecancerstore.ca.”

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