Relay for Life dedicated to Barnfield

  • Community effort: a scene from last year's 24-hour Relay for Life

    Community effort: a scene from last year's 24-hour Relay for Life


The Relay for Life cancer charity event will this year honour one of its founders, former insurance executive Mike Barnfield.

Mr Barnfield, a former chairman of Willis Bermuda, who teamed up with Ron Spencer to bring the 24-hour event to Bermuda in 2014, died from cancer recently.

The event kicks off at 6.30pm today at the National Sports Centre’s North Field and an executive from sponsor Ironshore said Mr Barnfield would be remembered.

“Sadly, Mike passed away just a couple of weeks ago from prostate cancer so it’s incredibly poignant for us to have the Relay so soon after his passing,” Mitch Blaser, vice-chairman of Ironshore Bermuda, said.

“I’ll be dedicating the event this year in his honour. He worked tirelessly, along with Bermuda Cancer and Health, to get the Relay for Life launched and we plan to make it bigger and better this year to continue that drive and charitable spirit.”

Mr Blaser added: “Mike, a long-time resident, good personal friend and insurance executive on the island, first brought the sponsorship opportunity to Ironshore and we jumped all over it.

“This is now Ironshore’s fifth year sponsoring the 24-hour Relay for Life and one thing we are really proud of with the sponsorship is that it is for all Bermudians — cancer doesn’t discriminate and affects each and every one of us.”

Relay for Life of Bermuda has raised $2.2 million dollars in four years. Funds raised from 2014 to 2017 helped to successfully open the radiation facility at BCH which is now celebrating its first anniversary.

The treatment centre has treated 130 patients in the first year including six uninsured and 31 underinsured.

All funds from 2018 will provide support for uninsured and underinsured patients.

There are 105 teams registered this year and 550 teams that have participated since inception.

Restaurants Devil’s Isle and The Village Pantry, along with the Seon Place office block, have lit up their buildings purple, the symbolic colour of the fight against cancer, to promote awareness of the event.

Mr Blaser said Ironshore had lost one of its own to cancer two years ago.

“Cancer touches many of us and it’s a cause we feel strongly about at Ironshore,” he said. “The Relay is a community event where everyone comes together for a common purpose. It is sombre and moving at times, while also creating a very fun, family-friendly environment.”

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Published May 18, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated May 17, 2018 at 10:44 pm)

Relay for Life dedicated to Barnfield

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