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Fundraisers gather to beat women’s cancers

Some passersby stopped to stare, while others rushed by, craning theirnecks to get a glimpse of the unusual sight in the heart of the city.

Some passersby stopped to stare, while others rushed by, craning their necks to get a glimpse of the unusual sight in the heart of the city.

And what a sight it was: Thirty people in pink T-shirts, headbands and boas dancing on the concourse level of the Hudson’s Bay Centre at Yonge and Bloor?streets. The spirited performance marked the kickoff of a new direction in cancer research funding.

For eight years, the Weekend to End Breast Cancer — during which participants walk 60 kilometres over two days — has raised funds for the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

But money raised at the weekend event will not only fund breast cancer, but gynecological and ovarian cancer research. The event has been renamed the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.

“(Gynecological cancer) is a relatively underfunded area in terms of cancer research,” said Paul Alofs, president and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

One of the people kicking up her feet yesterday was Sheryl Ambrose, a breast cancer survivor.

Since her diagnosis four years ago, Ambrose has participated every fall, having raised $40,000 to date.

The first year she was so weak from the chemotherapy she volunteered while her teenage children walked.

“It’s great walking through the neighbourhoods,” she says. “We get the community all cheering for us. People give us coffee, drinks and a smiling face. It’s gives you the drive to cope.”