Every year the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation presents Challenge for Life, a fundraising/awareness initiative whereby participants commit to raising $1,000 for the organization while also pledging to practise a healthier lifestyle, reducing their risk of cancer up to 50 per cent.
This year, Challenge for Life culminates with a 20-kilometre walk on June 7, beginning and ending at Assiniboine Park.
Debbie Boni walks for others who battle a disease that affects so many. Personally, she has been fortunate, but like many, she has been touched in one way or another by cancer.
"We have been very fortunate that cancer has not been in our family," says Debbie. "It was one of my co-workers who was diagnosed with breast cancer. When it happens, you don’t know what to do so I decided to do the Challenge for Life."
For Debbie, the Challenge for Life initiative is one of awareness, hope and excitement.
"It’s fun," says Debbie, who will participate in her seventh walk in June. "There is something very satisfying about doing it and completing it each year."
Debbie makes it a point to walk with those who may be walking by themselves in the 20 kilometre event.
"As you are walking you can see that there is teams that are walking, but there are very few of us that walk alone so I try to catch up with one of them and see why they are walking and help each other get to the finish line."
Debbie says that as long as she can walk she will keep participating and that the support she receives from her family, friends and neighbours helps motivate her.
"As long as I can do it, I am going to do it," she says. "My daughter is now walking with us now as well as my granddaughter."
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca