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We are all Connected! (Posted On: Friday, September 11, 2009)

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Join hundreds of people on Sunday October 4th 2009 at Harbourview Park in Collingwood for as we take part in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. 

Side by side we will walk, run, share tears of joy, sadness due to lost loved one, as well as tears of hope to a cancer free future. 

Take a few minutes with me as I share why others participate in this fundraising event, and hopefully encourage and welcome anyone that wants to join our fight and help create a brighter future for millions of women.

In July 2004, Jennifer Cummings a participant and survivor, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The company she worked for, Closing the Gap Healthcare Group, wanted to show their support and entered a team in the first Collingwood Run.

Jennifer was unable to walk the 5 km that year, having just had a second surgery, but cheered them on. Every year since the company sends in a team.   Not only is this the 5th anniversary for the Collingwood run, it is also the 5th anniversary for Jennifer being cancer free – a huge and significant milestone for both!

We give thanks to people like Jennifer for showing us the strength that we all need to help  her and many others. “I think this cause touches so many people and that is what makes them so generous”, says Cummings.

So many stories, so many people, so many eye opening moments for many.

Kristen Korhonen, 34 has participated in the Run for the past four years, three of them at the Collingwood location.  “It’s such a beautiful setting and I just love the intimate, community feel.  It’s a wonderful weekend to have friends to my home in Thornbury and last year was no different.  Of course everything was planned before Kristen found the lump, and then just 3 days before the event she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, what are the odds! “

During the event last year, Kristen tells us she found it strange to look around at the women in pink shirts and think “wow, next year that is going to be me”.  While the past eight months have certainly been an adventure for Kristen, and she still has those “pinch me” moments, it’s also been a time filled with many silver linings. 

“There are so many positive memories that will trump the negative”, says Korhonen, and as she puts it, “I learned so much, not just about myself but also about others and the power of giving, and the power of friendship.”

An inspiring woman, one of many women who have battled this disease.

Many join the run/walk in memory of someone who didn't survive the fight.  Committee member  and team captain of Sandra's squad Michelle Federer (the team is in memory of local community member and Aunt of Michelle’s, Sandra Stoutenburg ) Federer shares this with us why she takes part each year.

“My daughter, whom is now 5, and I have been participating in the “Pink Walk” (as she calls it) for 5 years. We participate for my Aunts and in support of the fight. I wanted to get my daughter involved at an early age as this is her future!”

Michelle is right!  It is her daughters future, our daughters future, our mothers, our sisters, our aunts, our friends, our own. 

Research is what needs to be done so doctors can figure out, what it’s going to take to stop this cancer as well as many other forms.  With such a massive disease you can only imagine, the money and the time that doctors and researchers have spent, they can't do it alone.

We need to keep the research going.  This is where "WE" come in.

Last years run/walk in Collingwood, had 49 teams, with approx 571 team members, and 279 individual walkers/runners. 

2009, will be the 5th anniversary of the Walk/Run being held in Collingwood, and last year alone $153,604, was raised.  That was a 30% increase over 2007, it was the 4th highest increase at a run site across the country!  All with the joint efforts of you, the participants, volunteers, sponsors etc. You are the amazing people who continue to come together for this cause.
 
The participants look forward to this event each year and when asked if they will return for 2009, here's what was said;

"Yes, Team The Highlights will return to celebrate 5 years of hope to end Breast Cancer and will again do the CIBC Run for the Cure.” Sincerely Mary Worry: Team Captain of The Highlights.

There are 4 survivors on Mary's team and the name behind their team honor's all women.   All women are the HIGHLIGHTS to their family.   Every family has a highlight…that mother, sister, aunt, grandmother…

As a women and mother, Thank you for that honor Mary. 

Rita Bette, team captain for Rita's Bosom Buddies, whom is a two time survivor of Breast Cancer says,” I will do everything in my power to help raise funds for Breast cancer research.”

The main thing is that with research a cure can be found. People like Rita and her team members get inspiration, from her story, which is similar to many others.
 Rita is a survivor and she is doing what she can to help create a future without cancer, so that her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to grow up in a world worry free from Breast Cancer.

As for myself, watching my girlfriend Michele, in her 28th year, start her fight against breast cancer opened up my eyes to this horrible disease.

Unlike myself and other’s, her fight wasn't to find a cure, rather the fight to save her life.  

Today coming into her 33rd year, you would look at her and have no clue what she has endured.  To myself and Michele's other friends, family, and her husband John, she's a walking angel, and like many women, did she ever put up a fight.  You feel so helpless knowing someone you love and care for is going through a battle such as cancer, but by being able to make this effort to come together and raise awareness and the funds needed for the research was a relief that we could "FINALLY" help in her fight.

This year on Sunday October 4th 2009 we, the volunteers, caring friends and family along with many survivors, as well as the spirits of others who have passed and just people who want to help make a difference, are keeping the awareness alive and the money coming in, to get the research done, with hopes that someday soon, we will achieve our goal of a future without breast cancer.

Together we can make those funds available to the amazing doctors who work endlessly on finding that cure.

Help us raise awareness, join us as we all come together to help create a future without Breast Cancer!

On Sunday October 4th, 2009 at Harbourview Park in Collingwood.

WHO WILL YOU BE RUNNING FOR? 

By: Danielle Lafreniere
Committee Member, mother, sister, daughter, loving friend.

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