I do it for my mom.
I was a part of CIBC’s Run for the Cure because my mother is a survivor of breast cancer. I am a witness to how devastating cancer is and how it rips apart lives, from that of the person with cancer, radiating out to everyone who cares for them. Man, was that battle hard and I wasn’t even the one that was sick! Facing such an uncertain future, watching my mother go through that … we need a cure.
This annual run is sponsored by the CIBC Bank and organized by the Canadian Cancer Society. The money they collect funds breast cancer research and health promotion. The aim is to reduce the number of people diagnosed with cancer as well it’s mortality rate while helping to improve the quality of life for those seeking treatment.
But I don’t exactly RUN anymore – I may run a bit to catch a good photo, but I was working the run, so I walked to document all the people who came out for it. But lots of others walked too as it was a family event and it is accessible to all. So, while some run a hard 5k, others walk may walk a more leisurely 1k with their dog. As long as people register and get moving, it counts.
2019 was my first year doing this. I was an official photographer for the Run last year at the beautiful Lakeview Park in Oshawa. The photographs catch people as they push past their pain to run 5k, it catches people smiling with other runners as they walk, it catches the community of people affected by cancer and their desire to stamp it out under the heels of their running shoes.
As I take photos I talk to people as everyone there wants to talk about who they are there for, whether it is their mother, their sister, their partner, or themselves! These photos remind people that the fight continues whether you are out with us or not. These photos go on social media, in the papers, and on their website and brochures and I’m so proud to be part of a team bringing more awareness to this cause.
We were so blessed last year: the weather was AWESOME. It’s very unfortunate that COVID-19 has forced the Run to be scaled down to a virtual event.
Speaking of gratitude, my mother is doing well now. We celebrated her 80+ birthday last month. It is thanks to events like this, fundraising events that keep money flowing in so research can continue, that she is here to gracefully offer me a cheek to kiss. All the money goes to research and there are better treatments coming out, plus people just need supports for the horrors of the current treatments.
So I’m part of running for a cure to get better treatment options for people who have it bad enough because they are already ill, yet have to go through a hellish treatment regime.
From the sidelines, I proudly take photos of survivors. I am so happy for them because I know how much they fought to be out here running. And taking photos on a day like the one we were blessed with, is like the universe smiling down and running along with us especially since we are now living life physically distanced from everyone.
The Run has raised $445 million dollars since it started in 1992 and I’m sure this money is part of why breast cancer mortality rates have been coming down. More people are surviving it although far too many are still being diagnosed with it: 1 in every 8 women will be given the horrible news that they have breast cancer. But due to events like this, more people will survive breast cancer. Figures are not yet in for 2019, but last year, 82,000 people across Canada participated.
And just so you know, this event is Canada’s largest single day, volunteer-led event in support of the breast cancer cause. And as one of the volunteers, it feels pretty awesome to be part of a team actively doing something to prevent breast cancer and generally make cancer beatable.
The 2021 Run hopefully will be a huge success whether or not if it’s virtual. I’m going to remind you because I want you to be there with me, too.