It was a sea of pink as survivors and supporters turned out in full force to Wascana Park on Sunday, for the CIBC Run for the Cure, to raise money for breast cancer research.
It’s a day filled with hope, as many remember loved ones and share stories of survival.
“From 1978 to now, many people in our family have been diagnosed. Myself, my two sisters, aunts who have died, nephews- there’s been so many people in my family which is why I’m here at the run,” breast cancer survivor Sandra Ahenakew said.
Now in its 27th year, the run has raised more than $430 million across the country.
“It’s breast cancer research that literally saves people’s lives,” CIBC Run for the Cure director Rabab Aboudheir said. “It goes straight to research that helps with diagnosis, treatment and even support.”
On average, 72 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day and one in eight women can expect to be diagnosed in their lifetime.
Statistics, that hit far to close to home for Ahenakew, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 years ago.
“I had both of my breasts removed, I’ve had reconstruction- I’ve had approximately 17 surgeries,” Ahenakew said. “It attacks you as a woman, how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. It’s been a struggle to get back up and feel like a woman again, but I’m there.”
With four daughters and three granddaughters, Ahenakew said she won’t stop fighting until there’s a cure.
“I know there’s a possibility that breast cancer will come to them so this is why I’m here to continue to raise awareness and hope to make cancer beatable in whatever way that we can,” Ahenakew said.
Each year, getting one step closer to changing the future of breast cancer for the next generation.
“It’s together as a community that we will beat this- that we will make cancer beatable,” Ahenakew said.
Another group of women with the team name “Count Me(ts) In,” is one of 18 metastatic-designated teams across Canada working together to increase awareness and support lifesaving research.
Metastatic cancer is also known as Stage 4, meaning it’s left the breast for the bones, liver brain and/or lungs and becomes metastatic, which is fatal.
According to a release, not enough of all breast cancer funds are directed to research that focuses on how to stop metastasized cancer.
However, in the past 10 years, the Canadian Cancer Society and the former Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation have invested more than $52 million in metastatic breast cancer research.
The run took place in 56 locations across Canada.