Running for the cure

CIBC Run for the Cure participants in Riverside Park on Oct. 4. (Veronica Kos/The Omega)

CIBC Run for the Cure participants in Riverside Park on Oct. 4. (Veronica Kos/The Omega)

Every day new families are having to come to terms with having their mothers, sisters, daughters and other loved ones diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, for Canadian women, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer without a known cause or true cure. However, this incredibly difficult disease comes with huge amounts of love and support from family, friends and other survivors.

The annual CIBC Run for the Cure took place on the morning of Oct. 4 at Riverside Park. The park was filled with people wearing pink, a supportive colour, as the event started to come together. Lots of teams were there to support the cause as well. A local female Kamloops soccer team came out to show their support, covered in pink, having changed their name to “Jugs United” for the day for a comedic spin that definitely brought out a couple laughs from other runners. TRU cheerleading and women’s basketball and cross country teams were also at the event to show their support and represent our school by cheering on runners at different distances along the trail.

Even though spirits were high, the true purpose of the event has a much more serious nature. Fundraising for this event is put towards raising awareness and research to find new treatments and cures. These events are to help the cancer survivors and ladies still battling today. Ladies like Heather, for example, who came down to volunteer for the second year in the row, and is a cancer survivor herself.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she said, talking about how great it is to see all the compassion and support that is shared throughout the day.

Heather was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. When she noticed a large lump on the left side of her chest, she immediately went to the doctor to check it out, only to have confirmed every woman’s worst nightmare. After almost two years of testing, results, chemotherapy and other medications, she said the relief she felt with her husband and family when the doctor told her the treatments worked was incredible.

Today Heather has been in remission for 9 months, and said a surprising factor that really helped her out throughout the whole process was her calm and loving pet dog.

One of the most helpful factors in being able to have events such as this are all the volunteers that dedicate their time to help keep everything up and running. Lots of locals from all over Kamloops came out for the day to help cheer on runners, keep things clean and give their support to everyone there.

In the end, the day was very successful, as all over Canada an estimated $21.5 million was raised to go towards research for breast cancer, in the hopes that one day future generations will see breast cancer as a thing of the past.