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'It's very close to home': CancerCare Challenge for Life raises $1 million for cancer research in Manitoba

Participants completed a 20k or 5k walk, or participated online in a virtual event. (Source: Gary Robson, CTV News) Participants completed a 20k or 5k walk, or participated online in a virtual event. (Source: Gary Robson, CTV News)
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One of CancerCare Manitoba's signature events returned for the first time in years Saturday, to enormous success.

It was the 16th annual Challenge for Life in Assiniboine Park, but the first in-person event since 2019.

Participants completed a 20k or 5k walk, or participated online in a virtual event.

More than 800 people registered for the challenge, each pledging to raise at least $250 for the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

Many of the participants had very personal reasons for taking part in the walk.

"I have an uncle who is going under extreme chemo right now, and I also had a girlfriend that just had a double mastectomy," said Andrea Patterson.

"About five years ago, my father fought his battle with kidney cancer," said Krisinda Beckett. "I lost my uncle to lung cancer this year, and I lost a very close friend - the same day that my daughter was born - to cancer."

Starting at 9 a.m., the 20k walk began and ended at Assiniboine Park, while the 5k walk roamed through the park. Virtual participants took on their own challenges around the province from May 27-June 3 to raise money.

"All the funds raised through Challenge for Life stay right here in Manitoba to support Manitobans and their families who are affected by cancer. This year we raised over a million dollars for Challenge for Life. It’s incredible,” said Laura Curtis, communications and marketing director with CancerCare Manitoba.

Between 2008 and 2022, the event raised more than $15.3 million to support prevention, early detection, treatment, research, and patient support at CancerCare Manitoba.

Beckett said cancer is something that affects everyone. "It's very close to home, it's in everyone's home," she said. "And it's something we need to do to help our community."

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