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.
This is Dana Nepon’s second year taking part in the Challenge. In early March, her brother Jonah Nepon — an important fixture on the Winnipeg and Montreal music scenes — died of brain cancer.
"It sounds silly, but you know how the Challenge for Life slogan is ‘We do it because we can?’
"Well, I’m healthy, I try to be fit and my brother who passed isn’t capable of doing it, so I think it’s important I do it for those who can’t," Nepon says.
Nepon — who raised $1,200 last year — says she was particularly attracted to Challenge for Life because the money goes to fight all types of cancer.
"I feel like, and not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I feel like there’s a lot of
walks and fundraisers for breast cancer. It gets the most attention," says Nepon, 23, a physics student at the University of Winnipeg who hopes to get into radiation therapy.
"My brother had brain cancer and I haven’t seen much out there to do with it. It’s definitely important to do it for all types.
Nepon says she felt an "amazing feeling" of accomplishment after completing last year’s Challenge.
However, due to her recent loss, no one would blame her if she didn’t take part this year.
"I think I wanted to do it even more this year," Nepon says.
"It’s such an important cause, getting people aware of what you’re raising money for and about a healthier lifestyle.
"After his passing I want to do it even more."
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca.