Thousands of Londoners went running for a good cause Sunday.
The annual CIBC Run for a Cure attracted a huge crowd as Londoners ran in support of family and friends who have battled breast cancer.
London was one of 63 communities across the country to participate in the event, local organizers say nearly $280,000 was raised in the Forest City while an estimated $17 million was raised nationwide.
The money will go towards breast cancer research, education and support programs.
With the funds raised, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) will invest in ground breaking research and programs that improve the lives of those affected by breast cancer through prevention, treatment and advances in patient care.
“With one in nine women expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime, breast cancer impacts almost every Canadian in some way,” said Lynne Hudson, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. “It is inspiring and humbling to see so many Canadians come together for the CIBC Run for the Cure to support this cause. I want to thank each and every one of the participants, volunteers, donors and sponsors for making a significant difference in the lives of so many individuals and their families who are touched by breast cancer.”
In all, 97,040 people ran for the cure on Sunday.
An estimated 25,000 Canadian women and 220 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
Lisa Desnoyers was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer when she was 27.
The London woman went through treatment and surgery and was in remission before she learned this past June that the cancer was back and had spread.
“I won’t lie, at first I was a wreck. I didn’t want to see anyone or talk about it, and all I wanted to do was wake up from this horrific nightmare. It took me a long time to understand that I had some fight left in me,” she said.
Breast cancer kills about 5,000 women in Canada each year.
Desnoyers said the run truly makes an impact for those patients and their loved ones.
“I think it gives friends, family, patients, loved ones hope. It gives them a cause to believe in. It lets them participate in supporting someone. I know many people out there, they want to help but they don’t know how,” she said. “They may feel unsure about how to approach somebody with a cancer diagnosis. It builds relationships and creates bonds between participants and it creates a positive mindset that is, I truly believe, crucial in surviving this disease.”