Len Turner paused, emotion coursing through his system.
He turned, took a few steps away, then pivoted back around on his heel.
The words dwelled inside of him - it was a matter of getting them out before he dissolved into tearful pile of emotional wreckage.
The 59-year-old was asked: "how much support has your granddaughter Brodie given you and how much does she mean to you?"
The simple answer: "Everything."
This week, Len is paying forward the support Brodie, now 17 and attending Grade 12 at Westview Secondary, has provided him through the years.
He's become arguably the No. 1 backer of the school's Terry Fox Run coming up this Thursday (Sept. 27).
Last week Turner canvassed his neighbourhood to help Westview Grade 12 student Ryley Hatchard, who has a goal of raising close to $10,000 for cancer research before Thursday.
Over two blocks Len raised $150.
He organized a bottle drive and created plywood signs to promote Thursday's event. And on Saturday, Len helped raise $700 along with a bounty of bottles and cans, all earmarked for Ryley's cause.
Raising funds for cancer research - the impetus of Terry Fox Runs worldwide - is a natural for Len. He's waged war against the disease and appears to have beaten it, with a lot of help from his granddaughter.
In 1998 cancer attacked Len suddenly. Len was driving his motorhome in Chilliwack when, he said, "all of a sudden I lost my eyesight."
Len's doctor diagnosed the problem as a lazy muscle but to be safe, sent him to St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.
The ophthalmologist at St. Paul's immediately referred Len to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. A scope probing Len's sinus passage confirmed the worst.
"They said, 'You better go sit in the other room,' and I heard the magic word: radiation," Len recalled. "I had a tumour right between my eyes."
The tumour between his sinus passage had eaten a hole in the stem of his neck, and was putting pressure on his optic nerve. Len's world went dark for two years.
"My wife led me around," he said.
Then, in late 1999, while he was in church, Len's sight returned.
"Nobody believed me until I jumped in my truck and started driving it," Len said.
Len said colours came back to him, "just like that."
"You don't know what you've lost until you lose it," he said.
Brodie was three years old when her grandpa was diagnosed, and she's been with him every step of the way.
"When she was four," Len said, his voice cracking, "we used to go to the hospital once a week for my radiation. Bro' was there, all the time, and she's still here, all the time."
Len was bathed in radiation - 100 hits in total.
Len said, "They told me they were just going to make me comfortable because I only have a year to live."
Brodie can only remember bits and pieces of that tumultuous period.
"I remember being told that he was sick, and that he needed my help to get better," Brodie recollected. "We'd play games and I'd drag him out to the garden and we'd garden together."
The little girl knew she had a very important job.
"That was to make him better," Brodie said, "so I had to be with him all the time."
Brodie remains Len's rock.
"She and I do everything together," he said. "We go to dances together, we go to funerals, we go to weddings, we go to baptisms, we go to church, we were up at Burns Lake." Len said.
"We've always been joined at the hip," Brodie said. "We do everything together. I never had a dad around so he's definitely been the father figure. If there ever was one, he was it for me."
On Thursday, they'll be together once again, supporting the Terry Fox Run at Westview Secondary, 20905 Wicklund Avenue.
"You've got to give back, you've got to do it," Len said. "You've got to put out. If you don't, then everything stops."
Cancer has touched Len's immediate family. His mom Marion had leukemia and died at 52, his brother David died from brain cancer at 52, and his dad William was taken by lung cancer at 84.
"When I turned 52, I was really scared because I had already beaten the cancer," Len said. "I went, 'Uh oh, 52's here. Mom died, my brother died, but here I am, going on 60 and it's like, the [Energizer] Bunny, I keep going."
"Cancer's cancer," he said. "Not very often, you beat it. I was lucky; they say I wasn't going to make it, I proved them wrong."
Over the years, Len made a lifestyle change, shedding several pounds by altering his diet.
"I used to weigh 250 pounds," Len said. "I was a walking garbage can."
With this change came a different attitude. "I started thinking, 'Yes I can, yes I can, yes I can,' and that's what it's all about: you have to have the right attitude. Don't give up; don't quit."
Brodie is thrilled to still have her grandpa.
"I can't imagine him not being here," she said. Fundraising continues for Westview's Terry Fox Run and in particular, Riley's goal of raising $10,000.
To support Ryley, you can donate online at http: // my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?registrationID=159587 3#.UEl3tX0g7_N.facebook.