Wonnacott’s dedicated to Run for the Cure

Gerrie Wonnacott (right), with Sharyn Little, has been volunteering with CIBC's Run for the Cure in Oshawa for two decades. Photo credit: Courtesy of Gerrie Wonnacott

When Gerrie Wonnacott’s friend survived breast cancer 20 years ago she decided to get involved with CIBC’s Run for the Cure.

Two decades later, the 73-year-old Oshawa resident, is still at it as one of the organizers of an event that has raised $8.2 million in Durham for breast cancer research.

Wonnacott will be on hand for Durham’s 20th Run for the Cure that takes place at Lakeview Park in Oshawa Sunday, Oct. 6.

As she reflects on her involvement, Wonnacott has fond memories of hordes of people running in pink T-shirts for the cause.

“I know they are survivors so I feel so admirable towards them,” says Wonnacott, about the people running in the pink shirts.

Run for the Cure has raised almost $445 million for breast cancer research and support all across Canada. Since the first run in 2000, more than 49,000 people have taken part in Durham.

She says the main way the Run for the Cure is trying to get more Canadians involved is through social media. She is hoping to pass down the torch to a younger, more tech-savvy person in an effort to attract more participants.

In past years, Durham’s goal has been $600,000 in donations, according to Wonnacott. This year, Durham’s Run for the Cure hopes to make $400,000.

One in eight women is expected to develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the Run for the Cure. Funds from the run have allowed people to know about how to prevent, treat and diagnose breast cancer. Since the 1980s, breast cancer survival has increased by nearly 20 per cent.

Roads adjacent to Lakeview Park close at 9 a.m. Sunday and opening ceremonies start at 9:40 a.m.