It was a sea of pink at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon on Sunday morning as over 1,000 people laced up their shoes for the annual Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure to support and raise money for breast cancer-related causes.
“This run is really important, for not only the research but to really support people going through their journey with breast cancer and going through treatments,” said run director Kirsty Hack, “so we’re really celebrating breast cancer survivors.”
The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that in 2017, an average of 72 Canadian women were diagnosed with breast cancer esvery day — an average of 14 die every day.
For runners like Nicole Thebeau, this run is personal.
“My mother-in-law passed away from metastatic breast cancer 15 years ago, so it’s a really near and dear cause to me and my family,” Thebeau said.
“She actually passed away the day after we got married, so it was a time where there was so much joy in our life, but at the same time she was so sick and we just wanted her to be at peace.”
This is the third year she has participated.
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“Every year that we get up and run, is because we just want to make sure no one has to go through what we did as a family,” Thebeau said.
“When people pass away, it doesn’t get easier. People always say it’s going to get easier with time. You just learn to cope differently,” she added. “So that’s just how we’ve done it.”
And while her mother-in-law is a big part of why Thebeau runs, she’s not the only reason.
“I also have a 13-year-old daughter, that I never ever want to have that diagnosis or not to have a cure for that diagnosis.”
Last year, the Saskatoon run raised over $200,000, with funds going towards breast cancer research, support services, education and advocacy programs.
“I love that we have 1,100 participants this year,” Thebeau said. “The amount of money that we’ve raised, it’s just absolutely amazing and it’s so near and dear; but at the same time it’s terrifying because it just means there is that many more people who know or are touched by this disease.”
“It goes so much further than the funds being raised, it really is supporting and making them feel like what they’re going through is supported by Saskatoon and the community at large,” Hack said.
Runs were held in 56 communities across Canada, with nearly 100,000 people participating nationwide.
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