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Breast Cancer — amazing what those two words represent and what emotions they trigger.  How many of us are touched by this terrible disease, either directly or through loved ones, friends or co-workers?

Several years ago, my sister-in-law was diagnosed and ultimately succumbed, leaving behind her husband, three teenage children, and an amazing and supportive family.  Yesterday, in Calgary, Elisabeth, Isaac and I ran in her honor, along with thousands of people across the country.  On Sunday, I remembered a wonderful wife, mother, farmer, sister and friend, and hopefully helped increase awareness of this disease and raise funds to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

I went to the Foundation’s website to learn more about breast cancer and here are some staggering statistics:

  • 1 in 9 women in Canada is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime (by the age of 90)
  • 1 in 4 (26%) cancers diagnosed in women in Canada are breast cancer
  • 1 in 30 women in Canada will die from breast cancer
  • In Canada, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 88%
  • Breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by 43% since the peak in 1986

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age.  In 2014, it is estimated that 82% of new breast cancers would occur in Canadian women over the age of 50:

  • 52% in women 50 to 69 years of age
  • 30% in women over the age of 69
  • 19% in women under 50 years of age

While breast cancer affects mainly women, men are not immune.  In 2014, an estimated 210 men in Canada are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Men with breast cancer make up less than 1% of all breast cancer cases, and are on average 68 years old when they are diagnosed.  Due to the small number of cases, breast cancer in men tends to be less understood than breast cancer in women, is often stigmatized, and may be misdiagnosed or diagnosed in a later stage.

Egg Farmers of Canada, the national organization that represents all the egg farmers is the official national nutritional partner of the CIBC Run for the Cure.  Egg farmers take a lot of pride in what we do every day, and believe that we contribute by providing healthy food and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.  We also believe it is important to give back to the communities where we live, so this was my opportunity to give back and teach my kids about the importance of healthy bodies and minds.  I also got to walk with much of the EFA staff and their families, enjoying the fresh air and having fun!

IMG_0110 20140917_122447As part of the fundraising efforts leading up to the run, the EFA staff hosted a BBQ and challenged people to a game of Egg Roulette, which contributed over $1,400 to our team’s total fundraising!

While breast cancer is serious stuff, we don’t have to be stuffy all the time.

Cherish the ones you love!