Hope for a future without breast cancer grew on Sunday at Red Deer’s 9th annual CIBC Run for the Cure.
Just under 900 participants raised $200,495 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for research, developing new treatments, breast health education workshops, and community programs for survivors.
Last year, about 1,100 participants raised over $254,000.
Red Deer was one of 56 communities across the country holding runs on Sunday.
Laurie Sodomiak, liaison for Run for the Cure with Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in Edmonton, said Red Deer raises a “substantial” amount of money.
The run attracts so many participants because breast cancer affects one in eight women in Alberta, she said.
Most people join in as part of a team in honour of one or more people they know who has faced breast cancer.
Before the 10 a.m. start of the run at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, many teams were standing in a circle which reminded Sodomiak of how people rally around those diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I think this event just continues that circle of support and gives people an opportunity to take action by fundraising for something that they can’t control,” she said.
For the team called “For the Love of Mary,” the run has become a family tradition.
Veronica Moore, of Red Deer, said her grandmother Mary Karpa, of Kinuso, Alta., died of breast cancer in 1991.
Moore’s aunt Pelagia Karpa, of Edmonton, has taken part in the run since 1992 and now people automatically expect and wait for her to ask for pledges.
“I have people say — how come you haven’t asked me yet? Isn’t that run coming up? Are you doing it this year?” Karpa said.
She said the reason she hasn’t stopped is easy.
“Like it says — hope,” said Karpa, pointing to the logo on the hundreds of T-shirts worn by Run for the Cure participants getting ready to do their part to find a cure.
People can continue to make donations until the end of October by going to www.cibcrunforthecure.com.