Breast cancer fundraiser ropes in $5.6 million



darren krause/for metro calgary


Best friends Courtenay Nims, left, and Lindsey Jepson took part in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, a two-day, 60-kilometre walk around the city, which raised $5.6 million for cancer research and care in Alberta.


More than 2,000 Calgarians took the battle against breast cancer to the city streets on the weekend with the Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk. The annual event raised $5.6 million to go towards research and care for the ailment in Alberta.

Best friends Courtenay Nims, 31, and Lindsey Jepson participated in the fundraising drive, saying this weekend was very important to them both.

When Nims found a lump in her left breast two-and-a-half years ago, Jepson had a hunch that it was cancer.

“I said, ‘What do you think?,’ and she said, ‘I think it’s going to be cancer,’” recalls Nims, who met Jepson in the social work program at Mount Royal College eight years ago.

“She’s the only friend that was super honest and said, ‘I think that we’re going to get through it.’”

Jepson was the rock that Nims relied on during five months of chemotherapy and eventual mastectomy.

“She might as well have had cancer, too,” said Nims of her best friend. “She went through it all with me.”

When Nims was unable to attend the first Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk held in Calgary in 2005 due to chemo, Jepson went ahead and joined the event in honour of her best friend’s battle with the disease.

“How do you support somebody you love so much, when you don’t understand what is going on,” said 29-year-old Jepson, remembering her reaction after Nims was diagnosed with cancer.

“When I heard about the (Weekend to End Breast Cancer) on the radio, I phoned (Nims) and I was bawling and I said, ‘I can’t do much, but I’m going to do this.'”

The following year when Jepson had to bow out of the event because of her pregnancy, Nims stepped in. This weekend was the first time the two of them undertook the 60-kilometre trek together.

Over the past three years, Nims and Jepson have raised a combined $10,000 for the fight against breast cancer. But it certainly doesn’t end here for these two women. The duo plans to walk in the event every year as a reminder of the journey they have taken together.

“I think the whole process has brought us together, but this for sure is the pinnacle,” said Nims.