The Kalamalka Pipe Band leads the Survivors Walk at the CIBC Run for the Cure Sunday at Marshall Field.

The Kalamalka Pipe Band leads the Survivors Walk at the CIBC Run for the Cure Sunday at Marshall Field.

Survivors spread hope

Heavy hearts, weighted from the countless struggles and loss, were met with an overwhelming sense of hope Sunday

Heavy hearts, weighted from the countless struggles and loss, were met with an overwhelming sense of hope Sunday.

A larger-than-expected sea of pink filled Marshall Field for the 24th annual Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run For the Cure.

More than 450 people laced up for the event and collectively raised $34,369.

Amanda Ross, 36, from Oyama was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 and is still fighting the disease four years later. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

With her team, Save a Rack, at the run Sunday Ross stated the importance of staying positive and living your life in the moment. She stresses the importance of staying proactive in your health and getting yourself checked as she would not expected to have had such a diagnosis at the age of 32.

Valerie Dean and her daughter Destaney, 12, travelled from Blind Bay for the event. Dean is currently battling breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. She says it is important to keep seeing the positives in every situation you face during the treatment and not to do the “poor me.”

Kathryn Ahvenus, 53, was diagnosed two years ago and had a double mastectomy. Ahvenus was a marathon runner in great physical shape prior to her diagnosis two years ago.

“You never think you will be the one to get cancer,” said Ahvenus. “You must make the most of every day.”

Those are just three of the countless stories of breast cancer struggles, which also represent hope.

Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, wives, sisters, daughters who have or are still battling the disease were joined by husbands, sons, daughters, friends, mothers, fathers, and even some four-legged friends at the event.

The survivors, linked arm in arm, led the run, which also included a moment of silence for all those who have lost their battle with breast cancer.

“We were truly ‘all in this together’ as more than 100,000 Canadians united across the country for the CIBC Run for the Cure,” said Lynne Hudson, CEO, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. “I want to thank each and every one of the participants, volunteers and donors for making a difference, and bringing us one step closer to realizing our vision of creating a future without breast cancer.”

With the estimated $21.5 million raised in over 60 communities across Canada, the foundation is able to invest in innovative research that is helping determine the genetic causes of breast cancer, finding innovative ways to detect breast cancer, and personalized breast cancer prevention and treatment options.

For nearly 20 years CIBC has been the proud title sponsor of the CIBC Run for the Cure.

“On behalf of all of us at CIBC, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our clients, friends, families and neighbours for joining us across Canada,” said Christina Kramer, executive vice-president, CIBC and CIBC’s Executive Run Sponsor. “For all of the women and men touched by breast cancer and their loved ones, your participation means everything.”

Thank you goes out to Regional Sponsors:  BC Nurses’ Union, Windset Farms, Image Group Ltd, and Health Sciences Association; Local Sponsor: Elephant Storage Centre and Royal LePage, and Media Sponsors: 107.5 KISS FM and The Morning Star.

Since 1992, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure has been the largest, single-day, volunteer-led national event in support of creating a future without breast cancer. For more information, visit www.cibcrunforthecure.com.