Private parts are about to get a lot more exposure.
Volunteers for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation gave onlookers a sneak peek Wednesday afternoon as they ran down Sparks Street wearing giant briefs for two to raise awareness about below-the-belt cancers for Ottawa’s first Underwear Affair.
To be held Sept. 11, the event is a 10K run or 5K walk to raise money for the foundation and awareness for cancers below the waist, including prostate, colorectal, ovarian, testicular, bladder, cervical and uterine cancers.
“What’s really new about this event is that for the first time, we’re going to be raising money for cancers that are considered taboo,” said Linda Eagen, president and CEO of the foundation.
“We don’t talk about them, those cancers that are below the belt.
“These are the kinds of cancers that are killing some of our friends and family. People are suffering everyday because of them.”
Despite its name, Eagen said the unique event is “more about being goofy than being naked.”
Organizers are hoping to see a couple of thousand people sign up for the event, said Shann Bosnell, operations manager for the Underwear Affair in Ottawa. He believes the event will be successful.
“In addition to having a lot of runners, we also have a younger crowd, with all the universities and colleges, that would really get into what we’re doing here.”
“There is so much that needs to be said in public about these diseases,” said Dr. Gad Perry of the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre Group. “Drawing attention to them is the only way we will raise awareness and motivate people to take part in regular screening and testing for prevention and early detection.”