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.
Wendy Gallegos has been taking the Challenge since Day 1. A breast cancer survivor, Gallegos says she got involved at first because of her own experience battling the disease, but her priorities soon shifted to others.
"I’ve lost so many friends. It inspires you to keep going and fighting for them, for their memory,"says Gallegos, 54, a quality specialist at Boeing who walks with the Boeing Wing Walkers, a team that’s raised over $100,000 for CancerCare Manitoba.
"Also, you do it for the people who are going through it now or will go through it in the future, because, as we know, they haven’t found that magic button yet."
Gallegos says it’s easy to get inspired when there’s so much inspiration around her, especially on the 20K walk.
"When you get to the end and ring that bell, it’s like ‘Yeah!’," Gallegos says.
"Also it’s inspiring staying at the end and welcoming other people who are finishing, because you know your face showed the same emotions. I have a picture of a girl when she finished the walk that I keep at work because she looks so happy. It’s such a strong emotion. It’s amazing."
Gallegos says another inspiring part of the walk is the volunteers, the families outside their homes cheering the walkers on, the live music along the way and the neighbourhood kids who have sidewalk chalked the route.
"I really appreciate the people that are donating and volunteering or even standing on the wayside cheering us on because we need them, we really need them," Gallegos says. "You just see it right along the whole route. The support is absolutely amazing."
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca