Former Canada West Athlete, McKenzie Rigg diagnosed with stage four brain cancer

Hearts break across B.C after hearing the tragic news about the former soccer captain of the UVic Vikes

McKenzie Rigg finished his fifth and final season with the Vikes in 2019. (Submitted)

After experiencing painful headaches, doctors told McKenzie Rigg that it was due to an unfortunate series of migraines. However, as the pain persisted, Rigg sensed something was wrong and demanded further results. 

At the beginning of August, he was told the devastating news that he had developed stage-four brain cancer and would undergo surgery to release pressure in his brain. He then travelled to stay in the Vancouver hospital where he is today to follow an extensive radiation treatment program. 

Rigg is 25-years-old and is a former member of the UVIC men’s soccer team. He was the captain during his final season in the 2018-2019 campaign: a testimonial to the type of guy he is. Recently, he has opened up on social media about his story which has been met with an overwhelming level of sadness and support from across the province.

 “I think I speak for everyone when I say we were all extremely shocked when we heard. I honestly don’t think we’ve even fully processed it yet,” Evan Libke, current captain of UVIC men’s soccer team said. “It’s really opened our eyes to see how fast things can change, but it’s made us appreciate the relationships we have with each other. Mac is a great guy and a leader in our community here at UVIC and is truly loved by all.” 

Being a member of the soccer community myself, I had the opportunity to play with Rigg during the summer of 2017. After spending time with him on and off the pitch, I can testify to the level of tragedy this news brings. Rigg is a genuine person and the fact that a young man like him has to go through this makes you shake your fists at the sky. 

His impact was put on display after the UVIC Vikes sports teams decided to create a fundraiser for Rigg. Their original goal of $50,000 was quickly met in a short few days and has since soared to over $50,000. 

On Nov. 20-22, the Vikes will be running 270 kilometres collectively in a relay over the course of three days. The number 270 symbolizes the 27 Canadians diagnosed each day with brain cancer. 

Their goal is to raise $50,000 to create a research grant In Rigg’s honour. All proceeds will go towards finding a cure to his type of brain tumour: Astrocytoma Grade IV.

The event starting Nov. 20 will be also be held virtually for others to participate. 

The TRU men’s soccer team will be taking part by running for a portion of the event. If you’d like to donate or be apart of the fundraiser, follow @vikeskickcancer on Instagram or visit braintumour.ca/events/vikes-kick-cancer/ for more information on how you can help.

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