Winning Glace Bay Minor Hockey's 50/50 draw couldn't have come at a better for time for one Cape Breton couple.
Everett Durdle, 80, and his partner Alice McNeil, 78, have both been diagnosed with cancer. McNeil has had cancer twice in her eyes.
“I'm in remission right now,” she says. “I've had (cancer) in 2011 and came back last year.”
Durdle was diagnosed with lung cancer back in October.
“I'm after making three trips to Halifax and I'm just waiting for a call now to go back up. They 're going to do another scope, which means the light will go back down into my lungs to see if there's any cancer around the lymph nodes,” he says.
But on Sunday, the couple finally received some good news. Durdle won the Glace Bay Minor Hockey's 50/50 draw worth over $46,000.
“When he came to the phone, I said, ‘are you standing up or sitting down?’ He said, ‘I'm standing up.’ Well I said, ‘you better sit down,'” says McNeil.
“He said, ‘is this good news or bad news?’ And I said, ‘it's good news.’”
Durdle says the money will help them tremendously.
“No better time, really,” he says. “It's going to take a worry off us. We have enough worry on us now. Now we know we can go back to Halifax and we can pay our way and don't have to rely on anyone to help us.”
Both McNeil and Durdle say they love Christmas and giving back to their community. They have donated turkeys and toys to families in need over the years, never asking for anything in return.
Despite their big win, they say they would give it all back just to have their health.
“Like I said to kids, don't get me anything. I don't need anything. And I don't. For the few dollars I have and that winning. They can have that, just let my lungs get better,” says Durdle.
It’s an early Christmas present that is offering the couple joy and hope heading into the new year.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.