Running to save lives

Photo by Laura Metcalfe

Tammy Brochu (second from right) poses with master of ceremony Terry Johnston (second from left) and the rest of her team the Pink W R Crawlers.

Tammy Brochu was diagnosed with breast cancer 19 years ago and now she runs for a cure – a cure has not been found yet.

This fall, she ran along with nearly 1,700 other people, in the CIBC Run for the Cure at Lakeview Park in Oshawa.

Brochu had a support system with her. They call themselves the Pink W R Crawlers.

“We walk, we run, we crawl I’m a crawler,” says Brochu. She crawled her way to the finish line with the sun shining and music blaring.

The master of ceremonies, radio personality Terry Johnston, arrived wearing a bright pink duct tape suit. Runners and walkers wore various shades of pink, as well.

The survivor tent was featured prominently on the site. It was furnished with pink plastic chairs, cancer support groups, t-shirts, food, and a raffle.

The CIBC Run for the Cure has taken place at the park for the past 12 years, though it initially took place in a Durham College parking lot. It takes an average of 150 volunteers to put on the event, according to run co-director Gerrie Wonnacot.

Teams big and small support survivors by raising money for breast cancer research. Sharyn Little, communications coordinator for CIBC Run for the Cure, is a 23-year breast cancer survivor herself. She says that more and more survivors are coming out to run or walk.

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, one in nine women will have breast cancer in her lifetime. It is also the most common cancer among Canadian women over 20.

Unfortunately for Brochu, her cancer came back after 18 years in remission. She required surgery in January to remove the lump. Her husband of 26 years was by her side the whole time and her sister helped take care of her.

But Brochu was there to do her walk and for that she says she feels blessed. She considers herself a survivor.

Her Pink W R Crawlers received the Women’s Team Challenge Award for raising almost $3,900.


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Laura is a second year journalism student at Durham College. She enjoys writing for campus, current affairs, and profile for The Chronicle. She loves to read and watch educational documentaries. Her work can be seen on Riot Radio. She hopes to work for CP24.