A community of Changemakers

It was one of those rare times when wearing a tie was entirely appropriate for a morning run. Sunday was the very definition of a beautiful autumn morning: brilliant blue sky, the sun lending the leaves an extra little shine of gold – and touches of pink everywhere you looked. Along with thousands in south Calgary and many more across Canada, this past Sunday WestJet suited up for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. Pink was the order of the day, with the accessories of choice including various clothing items, pink wigs and our limited edition pink scarves and neckties – WestJet’s newest initiative designed to raise additional funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

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What do you experience at an event like this? Family. Community. Fellowship. Prior to the official start of the run, there were survivor stories – stories of hope and triumph that warmed everyone’s spirits. As we gathered, there were reminders everywhere of who we were running for: Moms, wives, sisters, daughters, friends and coworkers. There were smiles, and there were also many tributes to the women who had lost their battles with breast cancer. As I looked around, I was reminded of an old saying, “Share your suffering, you cut it in half. Share your joy, you double it.” As the run wound its way through the streets, it became a procession, but not sombre like a funeral – much more like a parade.

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When I was a kid, there were public service announcements on TV stressing that “cancer can be beaten”. This past Sunday morning, surrounded by a community of Changemakers, I thought “this is how we do it”. Of course, the research is important. Yes, awareness and early detection are critical. The efforts of doctors, nurses, support staff, fundraisers, sponsors and volunteers each play a very important role. But when you see it all come together on a beautiful Sunday morning in early October, I for one think it’s love that’s beating cancer.