A mass of pink-clad people congregated at UTM on Sunday to start another year’s run (or walk, for some) for a cure for breast cancer. Students ran alongside faculty, administration, and residents of Mississauga, all sharing one goal: to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
The CIBC-funded Run for the Cure gives many people a way to support or commemorate friends and family members who suffer from the illness. The run is in its 26th year of providing a way for people to connect and to contribute to the development of earlier detection methods and better treatment. With 23,500 Canadians diagnosed last year alone, it is impossible to ignore the impact of breast cancer. Currently, the five-year survival rate for Canadian women is at 88%, and the mortality rate has fallen by 35% since 1986.
Last year, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation reported that the Canada-wide event engaged more than 170,000 volunteers and raised over $30 million for cancer research. In past years, UTM’s Undergraduate Commerce Society has ranked in the top 10 fundraisers and top five university teams. Their goal for this year is to raise $6,000.
Everyone has their own answer to the Foundation’s question: “Who are you running for?” Many runners are or have been personally affected by breast cancer. Others, like Julia Huynh, a second-year art and art history student who ran for the first time this year, participate not for themselves but in support of those who have been affected.
Many students on campus are involved, like Julia, just “to support a great cause” and, since it’s held on our campus, to join other U of T students sharing a common goal.
“[I hope to] have the largest team at the run this year, composed of students, faculty, admin, and everyone else interested,” said Yasmine Youssef, UTMSU’s VP equity.
The run is not about competition or having a lightning-fast finish time, but sharing experiences, supporting each other, and lending hope to the fight against cancer.