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Raising cancer awareness

Walking 60 kilometres is hard, but going through treatment for cancer is even tougher.

Walking 60 kilometres is hard, but going through treatment for cancer is even tougher.

That’s one of the themes for this year’s Weekend to End Breast Cancer event, and Orleans resident Genevieve Allen couldn’t agree more.

She’s done both, and while she had a great time at the fundraiser for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation last year, it drove home the importance of raising money.

A week after being diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2005, she underwent a single mastectomy, followed by a prophylactic mastectomy in April 2007.

The three-year cancer survivor signed up for last year’s event because “I wanted to give back to the community of doctors and support groups that I had taken from.”

Local ballerinas danced at the Rideau Centre yesterday afternoon as a part of a nationwide event to raise awareness for the 60-kilometre walk, which takes place from June 5 to 7.

The event supports cancer services and research across eastern Ontario and specifically the Queensway Carleton Hospital’s ongoing construction, as well as the Ottawa Health Research Institute’s molecular lab, which allows for research into the personalization of treatment.

Three of the 27 dancers performing at yesterday’s event wore pink to represent the one out of nine Canadian women who will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. One in three Ottawa area residents will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes.

“The fact that one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime is a staggering statistic,” said Linda Eagan, president and CEO of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Breast cancer isn’t just a women’s disease, said Allen. “Both men and women are affected by breast cancer.”

 
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