Every year, the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation runs Challenge for Life, a fundraising/awareness event whereby walkers commit to raising $1,000 for CancerCare Manitoba while also taking an active role in maintaining their physical health, thus reducing their risk of getting cancer.
This year, Challenge for Life culminates on June 8 with a 20 kilometre walk, beginning and ending at Assiniboine Park.
David Whitmore is taking the Challenge for the first time. The vice president of sales at Peak of the Market says he works long hours, so getting regular exercise is a challenge unto itself.
"This (Challenge for Life) forces me to put some time in to get some exercise," Whitmore says, 50, who walks with the Peak Tater Trotters.
"I’m really excited about it. It’s something that pushes you. If you don’t have a goal, it’s not going to get done. For the 20 (kilometre route), I just have to get out there, get some exercise and raise some money along the way. Finding a cure is one thing, but even if we can make the lives of the ones affected better, it’s worth it."
Whitmore will be walking for his uncle and a close family friend who both died of cancer last year, as well as two other uncles who are currently battling the disease.
It’s a serious matter, but Whitmore is still having fun with the Challenge.
Despite working for Peak of the Market, Whitmore is not a fan of peas, but he’s vowed to eat a can if Shelley McIntosh — wife of Peak president and CEO Larry McIntosh — gives him $100 towards the Challenge, a dare he’s humorously titled "Give peas a chance."
Also, Whitmore is a confessed Coke addict (the cola variety) and promises to give up his beloved drink for a full year if he’s able to raise $10,000 for CancerCare. So far he’s just shy of $5,000.
"I don’t drink anything else," Whitmore says, adding he drinks approximately three litres of Coke a day. "I don’t drink water. I don’t drink coffee. Coke is all I drink. I start my morning with breakfast and a Coke chaser and the first thing I do in the morning at work is crack a can of Coke. Right or wrong, it’s a big part of what I do, so I’ve put this challenge out there.
"If I cut it out of my life I’ll have to find different alternatives and it’ll be better for me and my family."
If you would like to donate to CancerCare Manitoba and help Dave reach his goal of $10,000 please visit his personal website at: www.challengeforlife.ca/dave
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca