Still on the fence about doing the Grind?

Let Westjet make your decision for you..!

westjet-logoThere are still a few days left to sign up for this year’s Giants Head Grind – Christopher Walker Memorial Race, which is taking place on Saturday, May 16th, 2015, and we have some great news!

Thanks to the generosity of the outstanding team at Westjet, we will be giving away two tickets to anywhere Westjet flies!** Each race participant will be provided one entry into the draw as part of their registration, and additional draw entries will be available for purchase on race day. The more you buy the better your chances are to win!

Just another great reason to join us for this year’s race. And, thank you again to Westjet for their generous support! 

**please note some flight restrictions apply

… and the winner is Okanagan Crush Pad!

OCP-Logo-vert-CMYKWe have several outstanding sponsors that have once again assisted with the participation and award prizing, but we would like to highlight that our major sponsor for the second year in a row is  Summerland’s very own Okanagan Crush Pad (aka OCP).

For the lucky participants in the 19+ age group categories, Okanagan Crush Pad will be providing wine for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners!

Thank you so much to the entire OCP Team… some of whom will also be joining us for the race.

Make sure to visit the winery while you are in the area… and check out their concrete eggs!


Bottleneck Drive joins us for this years Giants Head Grind

The wineries of the Bottleneck Drive in Summerland are joining in the Giants Head Grind festivities this year with a wine tasting  Friday evening May 15th during registration.  Pick up your registration package on Friday between 6:00 p.m.  and 9 :00 p.m. at the Summerland Waterfront Resort Ballroom and enjoy a few samples of some of the areas finest wines. Of course we hope you will take the time to visit wineries as well while you are here for the Grind Weekend.


Saluting this years generous sponsors

Once again this year we are so pleased to welcome and welcome back some of our very generous sponsors….over the next few days we will feature those business that have taken up the cause and are joining us for the Giants Head Grind – Christopher Walker Memorial Race…..May 16th, 2015..

Local Lounge and GrilleWe hope you enjoyed last years race breakfast and want to again thank Local Lounge Grille for coming on board as the breakfast sponsor. Christa-Lee and Cam along with their new Chef Bradley Clease and the entire Local team will welcome all of the registered participants for a complimentary breakfast to fuel your Grind starting at 8 a.m. on race morning.  

Nesters MarketNesters Market …..”Where the locals shop”  …is always a great place to start your day but it is equally a great place to finish and we guarantee you will be delighted to see the smiling faces of the Nesters Market staff including store manager Leanne Sieben once again handing out  tasty treats at the top of Giants Head Mountain …. there quite possibly be ice cream sandwiches involved…!

Summerland ResortSummerland Waterfront Resort and Spa is  again this years host hotel. Tom, Jason, Lisa, and the staff at the Waterfront have provided us not only with ongoing meeting and registration space but have assisted in providing volunteer gifts, prizing and volunteers that have been invaluable in ensuring the success of the Giants Head Grind.

Giants Head Grind Rack Cards are Now Available.

As we get closer to race day, we have been doing a little marketing of our own that we wanted to share with you…

4x8_GHG_RackCard_front-2015 4x8_GHG_RackCard_backThis is the front and back of our “4×8 Rack Cards”, which, if you’re an Okanagan local, you’ll start seeing at local businesses around the area.

Be sure to take a few to share with your friends and family!

And of course, if you’d like to have some for your business, let us know and we’ll send some your way.

Great Marketing. Important Message.

As we continue on this quest of bringing awareness to colon cancer as the second leading cause of both male and female cancer-related deaths in Canada, and the recognition that with early detection and treatment over 90% of these cancer-related deaths could and should have resulted in a full recovery, we have also been looking to like-minded organizations for inspiration.

no-one-wants-to-see-this-merediths-miracles-colon-cancer-foundationOne such organization is a non-profit out of the United States, Meredith’s Miracles, which we discovered when we found this hilarious transit campaign.

Would this get your attention…?

I think so! But it’s the message underneath that is really important:


Colon cancer is the second most deadly cancer. But, detected early, it’s also one of the most treatable.”

Well done, Meredith’s Miracles.

Colon Cancer continues to ignore age boundaries.

The world has lost another young man to Colon cancer. Today the Globe & Mail covered the story of Matthew Wuest, the founder of popular hockey site Based in Nova Scotia, Wuest quietly built up an audience for what many perceived as the MOST important online resource in hockey.

CPT115_HKN_OBIT_Matthew_Wuest_20150320“Matthew Wuest brought the NHL’s complex salary-cap system to the masses through his wildly popular and influential website CapGeek. And he did it on his own, often from a laptop at his kitchen table in Halifax.

Wuest’s creation was the go-to source for salary and contract information for everyone interested in hockey. When he shut it down in January, fans and NHL insiders shared in the disappointment, not realizing that Wuest was battling colon cancer.

Wuest died Thursday at the age of 35.” –read the full story at

It is time to stop considering colon cancer an “old person’s disease” and make screening more accessible to everyone young and old.  After all, “Not Knowing is Not the Answer.

Thanks to Allen Jone – Ace Film – we have a great video from last year’s race!

If you were part of last years inaugural Giants Head Grind – Christopher Walker Memorial Race you will want to see what Allen Jones from Ace Film has put together.  We had a tremendous first year event thanks to all of the support from family, friends and strangers who came out to support a very worthwhile and important cause and we know that there will be another race day not to miss this year on  May 16th, 2015 . If you joined us here last year we hope to see you back and if you were unable to be here we sure hope you can find your way to Summerland this May….you will be supporting a great a cause and we think you might just have some fun along the way.

Registration is open!

Take Care of Your Colon

Many of you have asked for another copy of the letter Tom wrote for last years registration kit.

Your Colon… “Out of sight should never mean out of mind”…

Colon Cancer has changed our families and many of our friend’s lives forever. I first met Chris when he was young boy and over the years watched him develop into an accomplished student, athlete and successful young man. Chris was a contributor, he was a difference maker, his passing is a loss to many but mostly to our family…he was my stepson.

Most of you know me, I am Tom Matthews and I first met Chris when he was only four years old. He was the guy that did it right, read the rules, played by the rules, took life seriously, sometimes too seriously …except of course when he didn’t… and likely we didn’t know too much about that, after all we were the parents.

Since Chris’s death on May 23rd, 2013 I have been trying to figure out how this could possibly have happened, what happened, and how to better understand this disease, this cancer, this terrible and fast moving cancer.

What follows is what I know so far and trust me I will continue to search for answers. I hope you will take the time and take seriously the information that is being shared with you regarding Colorectal Cancer and most importantly the need for all of us to push for diagnostics and early detection.



Every week:

  • 423 Canadians are diagnosed with colorectal cancer
  • 175 Canadians on average die from colorectal cancer


Colorectal Cancer:

  • Is the second leading cause of death from cancer in both men and women
  • Is only surpassed by death from lung cancer
  • Kills more Canadians than Breast and Prostate Cancer combined



  • • If diagnosed in stage 1 or stage 2 colorectal cancer is almost 90% curable

So connect the dots…Colorectal Cancer is 90% curable… and yet Colorectal Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in this country…what’s wrong with this statement, in my opinion…. everything.


In BC and Alberta:

  • Medical protocol directs physicians requisition a colonoscopy for persons under the age of 60 only if there are symptoms including blood in the stool or immediate family history of colorectal cancer. Note that immediate history means parents and grandparents and does not extend to aunts/uncles/cousins.
  • Medical protocol will not permit the requisition of a FIT TEST (which is a lab test to determine if there is any blood in the stool) under the age of 50, unless you have symptoms or immediate family history, as outlined above.
  • If you are able to qualify for a FIT test and if the test is positive (blood in the stool) you will then be eligible for a colonoscopy. Currently that may take up to 5 months to occur (South Okanagan averages).

Chris’s Journey:

  • Chris was always and advocate of his own health
  • At 25 he asked for and was denied a request for a colonoscopy
  • While at the time he had no symptoms his family history of colon cancer was extensive but not consider to be immediate family
  • Later (after being diagnosed with colon cancer) Chris’s Oncologist reviewing Chris’s family history was shocked that he had not had early detection /screening


We all need to increase the discussion on Colon Cancer – this means we have to make poop, pooping and everything about our digestion and digestive system an acceptable topic for conversation.

You must advocate for your own health

It is too late for Chris but many others don’t have to die if all of us push to ensure that the tests that exist are more widely available

I have discovered a clinic in Kelowna where they can preform private colonoscopies. The clinic is called Okanagan Health Surgical Centre. They have three general surgeons that perform this procedure. The FIT TEST, which is also available at Okanagan Health Surgical Centre, does require a doctor’s requisition, which is available at the surgical centre with no conditions.

For further information regarding a FIT TEST or information about scheduling a private colonoscopy contact:

Okanagan Health Surgical Centre
telephone: 250-868-9799

At the Giants Head Grind on race day in the park Okanagan Health Surgical Centre will have an information booth in Summerland District Credit Union tent to provide further information. They will be available from 10:00 Am to 1:00 Pm and 3:00 PM to. 5:00 Pm.

Finally I have also discovered through the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada that there are two blood tests that are available to detect colorectal cancer:

  1. Septin 9 and
  2. Cologic http:/

Both require a requisition/prescription from a doctor.

Recently I was told to by a member of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, “the trick is to get the physician to prescribe the test and then if you receive a positive result ensuring that there is a high priority placed on the timing of your colonoscopy.”

Despite my preliminary findings ……you really can take steps towards the early and curable detection of colorectal cancer. 

Thank you for taking the time to join us at the Giants Head Grind- Christopher Walker Memorial Race.

Tom Matthews