This past Sunday, 130, 000 Canadians took part in the 21st annual CIBC Run for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research, and approximately 1,000 of those spirited runners and walkers took to the Brock University campus for the pinkest day of the year.
Held in partnership with the Student Life and Community Experience team, CIBC Run for the Cure Niagara chapter raised over $12, 000 in one event alone, bringing the nationwide total to $27 million.
Over 100 individuals laced up to make Brock team, including students, faculty, staff, friends and family members and a wave of various shades of pink took over the entire campus. The trademark question, “who are you running for?” was made clear the team names on the back of racer’s shirts, ranging from “Breast friends forever” to “Cathy’s Crusaders”. Every participant present was ready to remember those who had lost their battle with cancer, fight for those still fighting and celebrate those who defeated the disease already.
The race course was held completely on campus, and the option of a 5 km run or a 1km walk was made available to all. Serving as the location for all of the greater Niagara region, the crowd was a mix of Brock affiliates and individuals from the surrounding communities.
This year’s theme was ‘running for my future’ and all t-shirts were annotated with the phrase. Amongst the crowd the odd pink t-shirt would stand out, indicating that runner or walker was a breast cancer survivor and present today to continue to fight for the cause.
Brian DiCarlo is a marketer for Student Life and Community Experience and was this year’s team captain. To DiCarlo, for the event meant more than just another charity race.
“Hosting Run for the Cure shows that members of Brock care not only about themselves, or the Niagara community but the cause to fight breast cancer as a whole,” said DiCarlo.
The most memorable moment for DiCarlo was meeting a survivor who travelled five hours to come to the Niagara location specifically, to honour her friend that wasn’t as lucky in her fight against breast cancer.
It was stories like that one that framed the entire race with a fearless sense of compassion and remembrance. The day started off early with countless volunteers and organizers preparing the road and registration tents. Although a classic St. Catharines overcast sky loomed over the campus, the somewhat rainy conditions made for perfect running weather, but it’s not like any sort of torrential downpour could have stopped the spirit, excitement and positivity from the crowd.
Taking place in 67 locations across Canada, the CIBC Run for the Cure is organized and executed by staff and volunteers of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. According to their website, the Run is Canada’s biggest single day, volunteer-based fundraising event. Money raised goes to breast cancer research, education and health promotion initiatives.
Frances DePodesta, a fourth- year biology student ran in remembrance of her aunt Cathy, who past away from her vicious battle with breast cancer earlier this year. As a first time runner, it was clear to Frances that the day would be a tough one to go through, but would be a fantastic way to commemorate her aunt’s brave fight.
“I feel extremely proud to be running in her honour this year. ‘For Cathy, for always’ is our team slogan, and it’s incredible to know that I can do something to for the community that Cathy was such a part of,” said DePodesta.
For several years now, October has been claimed as Breast Cancer awareness month, and numerous organizations will be taking part in the cause for the next few week. Brock University Students Union, (BUSU will be hosting several breast cancer events througout October, including a pay what you can “Breastfast” on Oct.9 from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. in Isaacs. Isaacs will also host a Pink Party on October 24. Lastly, all month long there will be a t-shirt sale at the Campus store, Badger shop, Marketplace and within BUSU. All proceeds will be going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund.
For more information on the CIBC Run for the Cure or on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation itself, visit cbcf.org.