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 by up to 50%
This year, Challenge for Life culminates on June 8 with a 20 kilometre walk, beginning and ending at Assiniboine Park.
This is the sixth year Roberta MacDonald has taken up the Challenge. Prior to Challenge for Life, MacDonald participated in the 2007 Weekend to End Breast Cancer 60 km Walk.
"I just got hooked," says MacDonald, who is almost 66 years old.
"It was just something I never dreamed I would ever be involved in or ever be able to do, but that first year when I walked and I did the 60 (kilometre walk), I was 59 years old. I thought I’ll always remember that because that would be the year I turned 60 and I walked 60 (kilometres).
"I love it. It’s a very noble cause, great people, a wonderful organization and it’s a lot of fun."
MacDonald — whose Challenge team is called the Walking Runners – says she herself raises approximately $5,000 to $6,000 a year for CancerCare Manitoba through Challenge for Life.
Well, like most people, she’s lost family and friends to cancer.
"When I walk, I have this stick-on on the back of my lanyard where I write all the names of the people who donated to me, all of the people I’ve lost and all of the people I know that are in treatment," MacDonald says.
"They walk with me in spirit. That’s the emotional side for me. It’s about being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself."
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca.