It’s a long way off, but the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is already gearing up for its annual CIBC Run For The Cure.

More than 170,000 people from 55 communities across the country are expected to participate in the run, which is the largest single-day volunteer-led fundraising event in Canada dedicated to breast cancer research and support. Taking place Oct. 5, the 17th annual run is aiming to raise more than the record $27-million tally from last year, by making it easier for participants to register online.

It’s a far cry from the run’s humble beginnings in Toronto in 1992. Since then, more than one million people have participated in cities and towns from coast to coast.

“The run has been very effective in raising money for breast cancer research,” says Sandra Clegg, manager of corporate communications for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Where does the money go? The foundation says 95 per cent of funds stay in the regions where they were raised, while 5 per cent of the net funds are distributed to national research areas. The research initiatives are numerous: Better understanding of the biology of breast cancer and its environmental, lifestyle and genetic links, how the disease occurs and how the risk of developing it might be reduced, improving diagnostic techniques, and better support for women at the time of diagnosis.

Better funding has led to great research results: Breast density and severe psychological stress were found to be risk factors in developing breast cancer, impacting screenings and protocols. Early life exposure to vitamin D has been found to lower breast cancer risk. Since the mid 1980s, research has led to significant improvement in survival rates, the Canadian Cancer Society has found (with the current five-year survival rate in Canada at 87 per cent, for example) and less invasive, more targeted treatments.

>> If you would like to participate in this year’s CIBC Run For The Cure, visit Or register in person at a CIBC branch, Running Room store or at the site on the day of the run.

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