by Hani Yassine
The Lance – Arts Editor
With October marking National Breast Cancer Awareness month, an overwhelming amount of pink has taken over Windsor’s waterfront.
The CIBC Run for the Cure occurred Oct. 4 in more than 60 regions across the country. Establishing itself almost as a tradition, this is the 19th year of the Windsor run at the Riverfront Festival Plaza. While the fundraising, support and overall awareness of the disease grows stronger, the objective has always remained the same, eliminate breast cancer, which according to the Canadian Cancer Society’s website is “the most common cancer among Canadian women [excluding non-melanoma skin cancers]. It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women. Breast cancer can also occur in men, but it is not common.”
“Cancer seems like a pretty scary, life taking thing,” said participant Matthew Hart. “It kills a lot of people and makes a lot of people hurt on the inside, and it can cause a lot of mourning and it can cause a lot of pain.”
Over 1,000 people participated in this year’s event. Whether it was the 5K run or the 1K walk, spirits were high as support was shown towards those diagnosed with breast cancer, who also took part in the run.
“It’s great to see all the survivors and all the support,” said Michelle Voth, who was initially diagnosed in January 2010, but has since been cancer free. “It’s always encouraging … knowing that we’re still pursuing new medicines and working towards a cure.”
According to volunteer run director Shayla Barker-Klaczko, this year’s fundraising is on pace to surpass the years prior. Last year garnered $175,000 in fundraising throughout October. This year raised $145,000 alone from the run, and with more donations en route for the remainder of the month, a succession is looking to be imminent. All proceeds go towards the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, which is actively looking for a cure on top of enhancing treatment for those who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“We have a few less participants, but we’re actually on pace to raise more than what we’ve done, so that just means that the people that have come back worked harder to raise more funds than in the past which is amazing to see,” Klaczko said. “We’ve seen a huge decrease in mortality rates, so that just tells us with the treatment, the advancements we’re making in the technology and such, are allowing women to be detected sooner.”
With the fundraising hitting stride and contributing towards further medical treatment, the run served as a true community event as those who came out showed emotional support for one another. While a cure has yet to arrive, there’s every reason to believe those who participated will keep coming back until they enter a future without breast cancer.