COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Participants hit the road in the annual CIBC Run For The Cure event at Assiniboine Community College on Sunday. More than 750 people took part in the Brandon portion of the event, which joined more than 60 other communities across Canada in raising money for breast cancer research. A local official said the Brandon event raised $100,210.
With bright pink tutus around their waists and big smiles on their faces, the "Pink Flamingos" took flight, running along Victoria Avenue for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure.
Angela McGuire-Holder joins grades 7 and 8 students from Earl Oxford School in the annual CIBC Run For The Cure event at Assiniboine Community College on Sunday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
"We just wanted to get involved because we know it is such a good cause," said Jalene Moman, who was one of eight girls in grades 7 and 8 from Earl Oxford School who raised money for the annual run.
The girls were part of the more than 500 people that showed up at Assiniboine Community College’s east campus to show support, build awareness, celebrate and honour those who have been touched by breast cancer.
The girls also got a surprise on Sunday that made the event extra special.
"We’re running for everyone today," Moman said, proudly displaying her Run for the Cure T-shirt with the word "Everyone" wrote on the front. "But especially for our teacher Mrs. (Angela) McGuire-Holder because we just found out that she was a survivor today."
McGuire-Holder, who is the guidance counsellor at the school, has helped the team organize fundraisers and gather support leading up to the run, but she decided to keep her personal story of breast cancer to herself until the day of the run.
"They didn’t know until today when I got my pink T-shirt that I was a survivor," McGuire-Holder said. "And that just makes them even more amazing kids to do something like this on their own. They came up with the idea and they are just wonderful kids that wanted to help out the community."
Diagnosed at the age of 36, and in otherwise good health as a woman who was very active and athletic, McGuire-Holder’s battle with cancer only emphasizes the fact that the disease doesn’t discriminate.
"There was shock and denial — check it again," McGuire-Holder said about learning she had cancer. "I was looking around to see if it was my name on there, because there was no way it was my name."
After numerous surgeries and chemotherapy, this run marks the fifth year her body has been free and clear of the disease.
"I couldn’t have done it without the great support of friends and family and CancerCare is excellent," McGuire-Holder said.
It wasn’t, however, always easy to put on her pink "survivor" shirt. In the first three years after her fight with cancer, McGuire-Holder chose not to don the pink shirt, choosing not to draw attention to herself and her story.
"It’s one of the most important events in my years and it’s taken me a long time to be able to put the pink shirt on, but it’s different now because I feel more comfortable answering questions," McGuire-Holder said.
"I know people that are no longer here and now I put on my pink shirt for them and for myself."
The run raised $100,210 that will go toward breast cancer research.
Kerry Morrice earned the award as the top fundraiser, Murray Auto Group won the corporate spirit award and the Neepawa Cancer Support Group won the Friends and Family award.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 1, 2012