Bernadette Lansbergen never had an easy go of it.
She suffered from arthritis and circulatory disease and in 2006, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
That year, her son, Ottawa resident Paul Lansbergen, participated in the Run for the Cure for the first time.
But in 2008, the disease came back for Bernadette – called Bernie by her friends – and claimed her life. She was 61.
That year, Lansbergen raised $10,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, a feat he repeated for the next three years as one of the area’s top individual fundraisers.
“She was very strong-willed,” Lansbergen said of his mother. “She was an inspiration for me.
She’s the strongest person I’ve ever known.”
This Sunday, Lansbergen won’t be participating with 9,000 others in the Run for the Cure at Lebreton Flats. As the 2010 volunteer run co-director, he’ll be too busy, but will run the route on Saturday instead.
So what would Bernie think of Lansbergen’s accomplishments?
“I’m sure she’s looking down and she’s happy with what we’re doing,” he said.