Supporting the fight to end breast cancer
Firdous Hadj-Moussa CONTRIBUTER
A couple of weekends ago, I had the honour of representing Loretto College in the 27th CIBC Run for the Cure that was held on the University of Toronto (U of T) campus. The CIBC Run for the Cure is an annual event that is held in cities across the nation to help raise funds and awareness about breast cancer through a 5K or 1K run or walk. This is a great event that allows you to have fun while giving back to the community.
Participating as a runner, walker, or cheerleader at this event leaves you feeling energized. No matter who you are, you will feel welcomed and united in the common goal of battling breast cancer. The diversity of the crowd includes everyone, no matter their age (and this includes pets!). It is representative of those that have been touched by this disease either personally or through a loved one. This event gives you an understanding of how widespread the effects of breast cancer are on our society. Many of the attendees wore pink costumes and accessories; others had shirts with the memory of a loved one. Most of us wore the official race shirt to further show our solidarity and support for one another. However, the one thing that everyone had in common was a collective feeling of hope.
Being a novice runner, I decided to participate in the 5K race. The running route helped me further connect with the cause. We started off in the heart of U of T’s St. George campus. The university was a great place to begin because it is an institution where fundamental research and innovative technologies are being developed to push boundaries in cancer treatment. The university is also very involved in the training of a new generation of scientists, doctors, engineers, and more. As you make your way through the route, you get to enjoy a scenic detour by Queen’s Park before you find yourself at University Avenue. When running down University Avenue, you pass various hospitals, such as the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. It is here that you realize the true fight for cancer is happening right in there. To me, the route of the run helped me appreciate the entire process and all the people that are involved in making breast cancer beatable.
When you complete the race, you are greeted with people cheering for you as they offer you snacks and water to help you refuel. At the finish line, you not only feel a sense of accomplishment because of the money you have donated (or sponsorships that you got from others) but you also feel proud that you ran or walked the whole distance. You feel a strong sense of solidarity knowing that thousands of others are running on the same day across 56 cities in Canada to help fight breast cancer. It is also amazing to learn that more than $16.2 million dollars were raised for breast cancer research this year! Another positive to participating in the race is the opportunity to pick up free swag from various companies that sponsored the event.
I am extremely proud to have been part of such a great cause, and I am looking forward to participating next year! I encourage everybody who is interested to join in too. Whether you are running or walking, you have the strength to participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure and you can make a difference!