Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Walkers take part in Challenge for Life

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IT'S been less than two months since Benji Harvey finished her cancer chemotherapy, but if she was feeling short of breath at Saturday's 20-km walk, she didn't show it.

"It's nice to do it this year, and have hair," laughed Harvey, joined by her sisters' Debbie Lewis and Lesly Katz, for the first-ever Challenge for Life, a fundraising event for CancerCare Manitoba.

Roughly 600 participants and volunteers took part in the Challenge for Life Saturday, which took in more than $650,700, surpassing the target of $600,000 set by the group.

"In the last week, the number of donations that were coming in was just wonderful," said CancerCare Manitoba Foundation executive director Annitta Stenning. "To see that the community momentum was building to support the event was phenomenal."

All money raised will go to treatment, research and patient care at CancerCare Manitoba, said Stenning, with the cost of organizing the walk covered by corporate sponsors.

Participants spent the crisp, sunny day walking from Assiniboine Park to the downtown Memorial Park and back.

"I think it's a great start the first year and I would expect it to be double or triple for next year," said Lewis.

Walkers were asked to set fundraising as well as personal health and fitness goals, said Stenning: "That's what makes this walk unique."

Stenning, whose father died of colon cancer and whose husband is also battling cancer, said the cause is "personal and professional" for her.

Evelyn and Garth Fey were walking for Evelyn's mother, Linda Kondrat, who died of breast cancer in 2006. "Walking the route and having cars honking and giving us support, it's awesome," said Garth.

CancerCare Manitoba previously hosted the annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer, a two-day, 60-km walk that raised money for the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

The weekend fundraiser was scrapped last year due in part to the cost of organizing the event, and the delay in being able to use the money raised for improved treatment and care.

lindsey.wiebe@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2008 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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