Hundreds of people will be stripping down Saturday, raising funds and awareness for cancers below the waist.

Participants in the Underwear Affair will walk or run in their underwear to support the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The fundraiser specifically addresses cancers in areas usually covered by underwear, such as prostate, colo-rectal, ovarian, bladder, cervical and testicular cancer.

Dressed in pink-and-black polka-dot tutus, Team Clitar Heroes will be running for Krista, who passed away from cervical cancer at the age of 31 in March of this year.

Leaving behind three kids, aged 11, 6, and 4, she had been the one recruiting friends and family for the team that she named herself.

Leslee Byer will run the 10K in memory of her friend, an avid runner and fitness queen.
“She was very courageous,” Beyer said.

“I would think about her and feel scared and sad. But every time I’d spend time with her, I’d feel better. Even through it all, she was the crutch for everybody.”

Approximately one-third of newly diagnosed cancers in Alberta each year are below the waist.

Yet screening in these places is often avoided, even though it can spur early detection and prevention.

The Underwear Affair is attempting to change this.

Linda Nickelson, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation, said the event has generated a tremendous response since it launched four years ago.

“It’s great because it’s an event that appeals to just about everybody. For a couple of years, I’ve walked in the event with my grandson,” Nickelson said.

At 6 p.m. on Saturday, the runners and walkers will be hitting the streets again with outfits ranging from barely there to in-your-face.

“Believe me, we’ll catch people’s attention. There will be a lot of crazy people out there running around in wild and crazy underwear costumes,” Nickelson said.

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