8th annual Underwear Affair raises $625,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation

2013 event draws 1,025 participants to race, walk or complete challenges in downtown Vancouver wearing underwear and outrageous attire to support leading-edge research and enhancements to care for cancers which occur below-the-belt

VANCOUVER, July 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The 8th annual Underwear Affair announced 1,025 participants raised $625,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation to support leading-edge research and enhancements to care at The BC Cancer Agency.  Participants raced, walked and completed challenges through downtown Vancouver wearing underwear and outrageous costumes to raise funds and awareness for cancers which occur below-the-belt.

"Cancers occurring below-the-waist, such as prostate, colorectal, cervical and ovarian will impact too many British Columbians this year, making up 37 per cent of all diagnosed cancer cases," said Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.

"The Underwear Affair plays a key role in helping us to improve outcomes for more cancer patients and we are grateful to all who have helped contribute to this year's success. The $625,000 raised this year is already being used to support vital, groundbreaking research programs and discoveries to help improve early detection and treatment strategies, which will ensure more patients survive their cancer each day," Nelson added.

The event started and finished at Concord Pacific Parking Lot in downtown Vancouver and participants chose to complete a chip-timed 10K race, 5K walk or series of challenges called "The Booty Hunt." Local residents gathered along the route to support race participants and the event concluded with a thrilling after-party at Concord Pacific Parking Lot where participants enjoyed music and dancing.

"My mother passed away from ovarian cancer this past February, after two courageous bouts," says first-year participant Mackenzie Fletcher from Richmond, British Columbia.

"This cause is so near and dear to my family's heart and I want to kick cancer to the curb permanently in her honour! She was such a fighter and is the biggest inspiration and role model I could have ever hoped for. You never know how strong you can be until being strong is the only choice you have," Fletcher added.

In 8 years, The Underwear Affair in Vancouver raised over $4.8 million for The BC Cancer Foundation, and funds raised support a range of research initiatives at the BC Cancer Agency where researchers are pinpointing new ways to detect and treat cancers that occur below the waist.

Dr. Hagen Kennecke, a medical oncologist and Practice Leader at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre is conducting vital research into new therapy options for colorectal cancer patients in BC.

"The Underwear Affair provides us with an opportunity to conduct clinical trials for cancers below the waist, which will help inform new and improved ways of treating these cancers and hopefully improve outcomes for patients in the future," Dr. Kennecke says.

The BC Cancer Foundation announced the 2014 event will be held on July 5th and Nelson encouraged participants to register as soon as possible.

"We hope everyone in BC will join us for our 9th Annual Underwear Affair next year in Vancouver.  Register now at www.uncoverthecure.org or by calling (604) 734-2873," said Nelson.

To register, donate or request information, visit www.uncoverthecure.org or call (604) 734-2873.

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ABOUT THE BC CANCER FOUNDATION:
The BC Cancer Foundation (www.bccancerfoundation.com) is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. As an independent charitable organization, we raise funds exclusively for the BC Cancer Agency that support innovative cancer research and compassionate enhancements to patient care.

ABOUT THE BC CANCER AGENCY:
The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca 

MEDIA PHOTOS FROM 2013 EVENT - CLICK HERE

SOURCE: BC Cancer Foundation

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ailish Steele
Senior Communications Manager
(855) 287-3953 
asteele@endcancer.ca