A sea of some 2,000 pink-clad Victorians will be hitting the pavement this weekend as they run and walk for a breast cancer cure.
CIBC’s Run for the Cure returns to the city Sunday (Oct. 1) from 9 to 11 a.m. with one-kilometre and 5K routes starting from the University of Victoria campus. Participants raise funds for Canadian breast cancer research and support programs for current patients. Many runners and walkers are breast cancer patients or survivors themselves.
Event organizer Brooke Sherwood said Victoria participants are on track to beat the $233,000 raised last year, and she hopes they can hit $250,000. This event, along with other runs happening simultaneously across the country on Sunday, is the largest single-day breast cancer event in Canada. Upwards of 90,000 people are expected to participate this year.
“(Cancer) affects the community. One in eight women will face a cancer diagnosis in her lifetime,” Sherwood said of the impact cancer has on women, their families and friends.
Breast cancer survival rates have exponentially increased over the past 30 years, she added, due not only to research, but to the support patients receive. “Without community support, we wouldn’t continue to see those survivor rates climb.”
Rachel Staples, a dentist in Victoria, is one of these survivors. Last year she was pushed in a wheelchair by her mother, but this year she is walking on her own with the confidence of having completed her cancer treatment.
Staples and her sister were both diagnosed with breast cancer within a week of each other in May 2016.
“It was terrifying because I am a mother of three young boys and I’m also the primary breadwinner of the family, so my business was in jeopardy,” she said.
She said knowing other women who had gone through the same experience – “breast friends,” she called them – helped her when she was going through treatment. Now she hopes she can offer that support to others.
This year Staples is running for her sister and for herself and she’s raised over $2,000.
Participants can join up to the date of the event with a minimum donation of $40 in person at the event or beforehand online.