Manitobans encouraged to participate in 13th annual Kendra's Walk virtually
Kendra McBain participating at the first Kendra's Walk shortly before she passed away from cancer in 2009. (Source: Anya Aaron)
WINNIPEG -- With COVID-19 restrictions still in place throughout the province, the 13th annual Kendra's Walk will look a little different this year.
The event is in honour of Kendra McBain, who was 15 when she was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer.
She started the first walk, but died in 2009 shortly after it took place.
Normally, people would gather at St. John's-Ravenscourt School and walk in her memory, but, this year, organizers said things will have to be different because of COVID-19.
"We are encouraging individuals to have an individual walk with their families," said Anya Aaron, who is a Grade 12 student at the school and is one of the organizers.
"So this year, we are just pushing it to be on that online platform, so we can continue Kendra's legacy."
Aaron said one of the themes of this year’s walk is building a sense of community and everyone is encouraged to wear purple, as that was Kendra's favourite colour.
Aaron added the original goal set by Kendra was to raise $10,000 to help create a “teen care room” at CancerCare Manitoba.
Since the walk started, it has raised more than $924,000, with Aaron noting that part of that has gone to building the teen care room, along with other teen advocacy organizations.
She said this year, all funds raised will go towards PROFYLE.
"They basically have a resource for doctors to share solutions to treat hard-to-treat cancers."
She added it builds on Kendra's goal of teens helping teens.
Aaron said there isn't a fundraising goal for this year but if people can donate, they can do it online.
The walk is scheduled for May 28, and if people decide to participate, they are encouraged to post their pictures on Instagram using the hashtags kw2021 and kwaranteensforkendra.