Each year, hundreds of fundraising initiatives take place across the province to support the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s promise of progress in cancer research, treatment, prevention, and care. However, our foundation does have its share of highly unique fundraisers operating outside of Alberta in some interesting venues. Case in point— the Nunavut Women in Action walk supporting breast cancer research at Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute. Sub-zero temperatures, dense snow, and polar bears set the stage at the beginning of May for six extraordinary women to walk an astounding 155 miles across the icy Coronation Gulf from Bay Chimo to Cambrige Bay.
You may be wondering why people in Nunvaut would raise money for breast cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute. As Alberta’s gateway to the north, Edmonton is the closest centre for many residents of the Canadian territories who require cancer treatment. Breast cancer is a disease that affects 1 in 9 Albertan women and the Alberta Cancer Foundation continues to deliver on our promise of progress by funding more than 50 breast cancer research projects and purchasing mobile mammography units to screen rural Albertan women. The importance of breast cancer research to the people of Nunvaut was evident in their overwhelming enthusiasm for Women in Action. At some rest stops, the entire community population would attend to cheer on the ladies or make a donation. Though the temperatures in Nunavut were cold, the warmth of many hearts allowed the women to take steps of hope towards a future without breast cancer.
Through the efforts of Women in Action walk leader Edna Elias and her team mates (Elisabeth Hadlari, Jeanie Ehaloak, Donna Olsen Hakongak, Jamie McInnis and Janet Brewster), an extraordinary $80,000 will be handed over to the Cross Cancer Institute at a special cheque presentation on July 5th at 10:00 am. Dr. John Mackey, a world-renowned medical oncologist, and Alberta Cancer Foundation staff will be on hand to personally thank Edna Elias and her community of supporters for becoming a powerful part of Alberta’s cancer-free movement. For more information on the Women in Action event, please visit their fundraising web page at www.albertacancer.ca/womeninaction.
~ Ashton Paulitsch
Alberta Cancer Foundation