Hundreds of residents will pack Springbank Park on Sunday for the Bladder Cancer Canada Awareness Walk.
Registration for the event begins at noon, with the walk getting underway at 1p.m.
All proceeds will benefit the national charity organized to help patients and their support teams, increase awareness, and fund research.
“Bladder cancer is actually the fifth most common cancer, which shocks a lot of people,” said London Walk Lead Dennis Haack. “There’s roughly 8,300 Canadians who will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year.”
Haack has been working to honour the life of his wife Pamela, who passed away from bladder cancer. When she was diagnosed four years ago, Haack admits they had never heard of it.
“At one point, she was actually cured of the cancer, but because of the high re-occurrence rate, it came back and she lost her battle with cancer in June of 2014, so ever since then, my family and I have been trying to raise awareness, and doing anything and everything we can to help the cause,” he said. “My wife was only 41 when she was diagnosed, she was 43 when she passed away, and she was the youngest patient that the London Health Sciences Centre had ever treated. Most of the time, it’s more prevalent in females and most of the time, they’re in their 60’s or 70’s when they get it. My wife was the youngest they had ever treated in London.”
Blood in the urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. If you have blood in the urine you should ensure you see a urologist and rule out bladder cancer as the cause.
It’s one of the most expensive cancers to treat because of a high recurrence rate, and no new drugs have been approved by Health Canada for bladder cancer in over 30 years.
Haack said that’s why the funds raised during Sunday’s walk are so important.
“There’s no set amount, if they come in with a pledge of $5 or make a $5 donation, that’s great,” he said. “Anything over $20 they get a tax receipt for it, but there’s no minimum. We’re trying to raise $8,000 in London. Bladder Cancer Canada’s overall goal is to raise $550,000 nationwide.”
Bladder Cancer Canada was founded in 2009 by two patients who realized there was no organization for bladder cancer that existed in Canada.
For more information on the walk and Bladder Cancer Canada, click here.