Friday, March 30, 2007

Making Breast Cancer History
in only 180,000 Steps!

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer:
Toronto - September 8 & 9, 2007
Walking 60 Kilometres in 2 Days

It may seem a long way off, but for me September is peeking around the corner.

I am a classical/theatre/jazz vocalist & actor, an obsessed fibre artist, unrepentant sock-knitting addict, and a chronically verbose blogger. A zaftig woman of surprisingly good health so far, I have spent 40-something years on this earth, most of them sedentary except for a brief period of physical fitness from 2000-02.

If you know me, you know what a tremendous undertaking this is for me. You may not know that in my family tree of genealogical medical histories you'll find the top ten tunes on the obesity-related hit parade, including assorted cardio-pulmonary diseases and cancer. My paternal grandmother was not a lot older than I am now when she developed breast cancer and underwent radical bi-lateral mastectomies. A dozen years later, she developed ovarian/uterine cancer which ultimately metastasized aggressively and took her life.

I am lucky that despite my tendency to Rubenesque proportions I haven't developed any life-threatening complications. But at 40+ I am at a chronological crossroads. So I am undertaking this journey from what is possibly best described as enlightened self-interest: I have some pretty good reasons both to want to build a healthier lifestyle into habitual behaviour for the rest of my life, and to raise awareness and funding to support people battling breast cancer and the research to end it.

I’ve already started preparing and training to walk 60 kilometres in two days (for those of you who think in imperial measure, that’s about 37.25 miles). Fear is a pretty powerful motivator and I am not ashamed to admit that I am truly scared. I am not worried about the first day - motivation and camaraderie will prevail...

I am REALLY afraid of waking up on the second day and trying to cajole my rebellious body to go back out there and do it again!

But that’s nothing compared to what hundreds of thousands of women face every year. Remember: one in every nine Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer - maybe even someone special in your life. And increasing numbers of men are being diagnosed with this disease as well.

I am walking to show my solidarity and support with these men and women, to help raise awareness and to raise money to support the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, an international leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada devoted to cancer treatment, innovative research, and education programs. These funds raised will be used for ground-breaking research, moving us one step closer to a future without breast cancer.

Each walker must raise at least $2,000 for the cause, but I have set my personal fundraising goal at $5,000. With your help, I can meet and even exceed it. The money we raise makes a real difference in the fight to end breast cancer and to bring breast cancer education, care and research to those that need it most. Thanks to the help of people like you, we are making major headway with research initiatives, gene technologies, the availability of Herceptin, and in finding chemotherapies that are less toxic...not to mention hundreds of other break throughs!

I am posting this in the hope that you will help kick-start my fundraising endeavours for this vital cause by sponsoring me now. As you know, people are more likely to contribute if they see that someone else has done so already. Any and all donations are welcome and appreciated. However, if it is within your means, please consider making a donation of $100 or $200 or more.

Click here to sponsor me
or to use the printable form to mail in your cheque donation. (SORRY, we cannot accept cash) so that together we can help to end this heart-breaking disease for good!

Please feel free to contact me via email or comments regarding this event or anything at all. Thank you for all your support on my journey and your contribution to this cause.

Wishing you and your loved ones all good health, happiness and prosperity.

MezzoDiva the Operatic Knitaholic

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