TORONTO, April 18 /CNW/ - Two weeks after Sudbury volunteer Myra Gerow first helped organize a team for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The following year, having successfully completed her treatment with the support of her community, she organized a bigger team and raised more money on behalf of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region. That was 10 years ago, and Myra is all set to do it again at the next Run on October 3, 2010.
With her husband Mike and 12-year-old daughter Elizabeth at her side, Myra admits to being relentless in her fundraising initiatives to support the Run, and her community has responded in kind. From giant yard sales to synchronized swim meets, recycling projects to spin-off Run teams, Myra has raised awareness and engaged her community in the Foundation's vision of a future without breast cancer. In her 10 years volunteering for this organization, Myra has made extraordinary contributions to the breast cancer cause and inspired others to do the same.
That is why she was honoured with the 2010 Jeanette Hawke Volunteer Recognition Award as part of the 3rd Annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region Volunteer Awards Ceremony that took place earlier today, Sunday, April 18th, in Toronto. This special award is given to a Foundation volunteer who has demonstrated a long-term, outstanding commitment to the Foundation and its vision.
The award's namesake was a Canadian breast cancer survivor, mother, sculptor, and pianist. Jeannette Hawke was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1951 but continued to engage in her lifelong passion for the arts until her death in 1975. An award was established in her name in 2002 to recognize Foundation volunteers who demonstrate Hawke's same passion for life and determination to overcome breast cancer.
As a survivor herself, Myra Gerow has made it her mission to create a future without breast cancer. "It's for our daughters," she says emphatically. "I truly believe that in the future my daughter and the young women of today will not have to face this cancer, not have to go through what I've gone through."
The Foundation was started in 1986 by a group of volunteers and it remains a volunteer-led organization. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the Foundation's signature event, is the largest, single-day, volunteer-led event in support of breast cancer in Canada, uniting more than 70,000 participants and 6,000 volunteers in Ontario alone.
"This disease touches thousands of women and their families every year," says Sandra Palmaro, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region. "The depth and breadth of our volunteer commitment demonstrates the importance and pervasiveness of the cause."
The Volunteer Awards Ceremony is held in recognition of National Volunteer Week, but the success of Foundation volunteers is evident year-round. Because of the contribution of time and skill of these individuals and the dedication to the cause they inspire in others, incredible advances in breast cancer research are being made possible.
"Progress in our lifetime is more than possible - it's proven," adds Palmaro. "Real change is happening - change that is saving and improving lives. This is the day we thank our volunteers and acknowledge their extraordinary contributions to our goal of creating a future without breast cancer. We can't thank them enough."
The Foundation's Ontario Region was proud to recognize these distinguished volunteers as winners at the 3rd Annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region Volunteer Awards Ceremony. Thanks to their efforts the Foundation can continue to work towards creating a future without breast cancer.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1986 as the first organization in the country devoted exclusively to the funding of breast cancer research, education and awareness initiatives. The Foundation continues to blaze new trails in breast cancer and breast health by directing donor dollars to world-class researchers and clinicians who are contributing to groundbreaking progress in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Since 2000, the Foundation has directed more than $68 million to the cause in Ontario alone as a result of fundraising initiatives like our signature event the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, hundreds of thousands of donors and the efforts of a committed volunteer network numbering in the thousands.
SOURCE Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region
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