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 as much as 50%.
This year, Challenge for Life culminates on June 8 with a 20 kilometre walk, beginning and ending at Assiniboine Park.
This is Anita Sharma Turner’s second year taking the Challenge. The local realtor and owner of Loka clothing store says she takes part for a couple reasons.
First, having had family and friends afflicted by the disease, Turner’s had an up-close-and-personal look at what CancerCare Manitoba does.
Second, she’s interested in healthy living, not just for herself, but her husband and two young children.
"Before my kids all I had to really think about was myself and my husband," Turner says. "Now, I’m a little more conscientious. I want to do something before it really affects my family. I want to try and get a cure, try to get a better understanding."
Last year, Turner, 37, and her team of 12 raised about $16,000 for CancerCare Manitoba. She says everybody on her team is committed to healthy living.
"After the walk we had one girl who went from vegetarian to vegan, so she’s our go-to person for healthy eating," Turner says.
"We have another girl who’s been training super hard for different competitions, so she’s our fitness expert. We have our little moms group, just being really cautious with our kids with sunscreen and what they’re eating. We also have a girl on the team who has a blog called This is Mom Duty (www.thisismomduty.com) and she’s dedicated to healthy eating and things like that.
"Everyone’s trying to make a difference and everyone has their own expertise so we can share each other’s knowledge."
As far as the actual walk, Turner says 20 km isn’t that difficult if you’re determined. Speaking of such, one of her teammates last year finished despite rolling her ankle and Turner herself pushed through a popped tire on her kid’s stroller.
"You do what you’ve got to do and really, these were minor setbacks. It’s nothing compared to what people with cancer go through," Turner says.
For more information on Challenge for Life call 204-927-LIFE (5433) and visit www.challengeforlife.ca.