Over $550,000 raised in two years through the BC Cancer Foundation's Concrete Hero

2nd annual event draws hundreds of participants, volunteers and supporters who raced 9 km and cleared 9 obstacles in downtown Vancouver to support leading-edge cancer research and enhancements to care at The BC Cancer Agency.

VANCOUVER, Aug. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Concrete Hero participants have raised over $550,000 in two years for the BC Cancer Foundation toward life-saving cancer research. The second year of the event commenced on Sunday, as hundreds of participants, volunteers and supporters gathered in Vancouver to race 9 km and clear 9 obstacles, through a chip-timed, urban obstacle challenge to support leading-edge cancer research and enhancements to care at The BC Cancer Agency.

"Thanks to the community of participants, volunteers, and supporters for being the true heroes and helping us support research that is dramatically improving the lives of cancer patients in BC," said Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.

"Over 24,000 British Columbians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. The funds raised in the last two years continues to power world-class cancer research programs which are advancing our understanding of this complex disease, translating to better outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer today and tomorrow," Nelson added.

Concrete Hero incorporates a mix of British Columbia's iconic landmarks as obstacles along the route. Participants climbed over a dozen parked cars and several busses in the "Lions Gate Lockdown" obstacle, traversed over muddy water to complete the "Lost Lagoon" obstacle and scaled nearly two stories over a mock mountain obstacle called "The Chief".  Participants also surpassed other surprise obstacles including the "Skytrain to Nowhere" that involved two massive inflatable slides and culvert Skytrain tunnels and the "Second Beach Dash" that included sand pits with umbrellas, fake sea kelp, coolers and noisy lifeguards.

"My husband, Andre, was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 20 and unfortunately in August 2013 the cancer returned," said Joniel Trepanier a Langley resident.

"Andre is getting stronger after he received a second bone marrow transplant this past January, and is thankfully in remission once again! After taking part in Concrete Hero last year, I could not pass up the chance to do it again in honour of Andre. Since he was initially diagnosed six years ago, there have been so many positive changes to the treatment available to him as a result of research and funding, and it is so exciting to see what the future will bring to patients here in British Columbia," Trepanier added.

The race start and finish took place at Strathcona Park Oval Track and included an urban-themed block party afterwards with music, beverages and food trucks.

ABOUT THE BC CANCER FOUNDATION - The BC Cancer Foundation 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 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.  Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

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.

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SOURCE BC Cancer Foundation

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Dara Fontein, Communications Coordinator, (778) 233-9255, dfontein@concretehero.ca