Every year, the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation presents Challenge for Life, a fundraising/awareness event whereby walkers commit to raising $1,000 for CancerCare MB while also taking an active role in their physical health, thus reducing their risk of getting cancer up to 50%
This year, Challenge for Life culminates on June 8 with a 20-kilometre walk, beginning and ending at Assiniboine Park.
Daniel Hawryluk — who walks with Investors Group’s Employees in Action — is taking the Challenge for a fourth year. In 2002,Hawryluk was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Luckily, he caught the problem early and, despite being told two years ago that he was officially cancer-free, Hawryluk still goes for regular check-ups.
"When I first noticed the issue I thought it was a small hernia and just figured I could go on with it," says Hawryluk, 37, who, like many men, was reluctant to seek medical help.
"I went on for a few more days, not realizing it was an issue until I was in the shower and noticed it had grown."
"Luckily my wife is a nurse, which helped me in the process, her being more understanding of the medical field. Without her, I probably would have gone about my day and maybe have never done anything about it."
"Early detection is important. If you feel there’s something wrong, don’t hesitate to find out what the problem may be."
Hawryluk says he feels lucky to be alive. In 2006 he lost his five-year-old nephew Devon to complications from brain cancer.
"I find my situation with cancer minimal to some of the other people I know," Hawryluk says. "While he was going through it, my nephew was probably the strongest person I ever knew, even at his age."
Hawryluk says it’s gratifying to know that the funds generated through Challenge for Life have enabled real progress in the fight against cancer.
"The statistics say cancer in general has been reduced in the last five years, not necessarily as a main diagnosis, but the survival rate is up and that’s all due to things like Challenge for Life," Hawryluk says.
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca.