Stz’uminus dancer Trent Jack and drummer Patrick Aleck perform prior to the start of the Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure on Sunday at Beban Park. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

CIBC Run for the Cure participants promise to ‘stay strong’ in breast cancer fight

Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser event held Sunday at Nanaimo’s Beban Park

Pink-clad community members pledged to stay strong in the fight against breast cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure was held this morning at Beban Park’s Gyro Youth Sports Fields.

Individuals and teams raised money leading up to Sunday’s one- or five-kilometre run/walk, then donned pink in a show of solidarity.

Tiffany McFadyen, the Canadian Cancer Society’s community manager for Vancouver Island, said although progress has been made since the 1980s when the breast cancer survival rate was 20 per cent less than what it is today, there are still 70 Canadians diagnosed with breast cancer every day. She said more money is needed to fund research about metastatic, hereditary and triple negative breast cancer, “to learn more about how we can prevent, diagnose, treat and live with and far beyond the diagnosis.”

She said with the help of the community, all involved are working toward a future where breast cancer is beatable.

“Today we are a force for life in the face of breast cancer and I am so proud to be with you all today,” she said.

Scott Rogers, CIBC community general manager, was glad to see so many people sharing the ambition of creating a future without breast cancer.

“For us, this is personal too, because cancer affects everyone,” he said. “Change starts with only one person. So when we come together like we are today to celebrate, support and honour our friends, family and loved ones impacted by cancer, we can make great things happen.”

Two breast cancer survivors spoke before the run/walk, including Stz’uminus elder Marguerite James of Penelakut Island who offered a blessing and other wisdom.

“With the hope that we have, we can survive like I’m surviving,” she said. “I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to lay down and let cancer take over. I’m going to get up and fight, just like the other survivors … We’re strong and we’re going to stay strong.”

RELATED: Nanaimo runners lace up to battle breast cancer

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