1,252 participants in Edmonton raised over $787,000 for research and treatment at 17 Alberta cancer centres for cancers that occur "below the belt"
EDMONTON, June 17, 2012 /CNW/ - The Underwear Affair announced on Sunday, 2,537 participants from Alberta raised $1.5 million for The Alberta Cancer Foundation. Funds raised from sixth annual events in Edmonton and Calgary are put to use immediately supporting cancer research, treatment and care initiatives for cancers that occur "below the belt" at the Cross Cancer Institute, Tom Baker Cancer Centre and 15 other cancer centres in Alberta.
"We are beyond thrilled that a total of $1.5 million was raised for the Alberta Cancer Foundation as part of this year's events in both Edmonton & Calgary," says Nick Locke, Vice President of Fund Development at the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
"We at the Alberta Cancer Foundation are on a mission to ensure all Albertans enjoy a cancer-free future. The Underwear Affair, now officially going into its seventh year in both Edmonton and Calgary, is a crucial part of helping us reach this goal. Funds raised are vital in helping address a range of cancers, which people just seem to be uncomfortable talking about. We thank all participants, donors, supports and volunteers who made this year's initiative an overwhelming success," Locke added.
On Saturday, 1,252 participants completed the chip-timed 10K race and 5K walk through downtown Edmonton, which started and finished at University of Alberta Butterdome. Participants wore outrageous costumes, underwear and athletic attire as spectators along the routes cheered. A similar event took place earlier this month in Calgary which started and finished at the Max Bell Arena.
"Four months ago, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer," says first year participant Aaron Lewicki from Edmonton.
"I am so grateful for the dollars that are raised to improve cancer care and treatment, so I can watch my two small children grow up. I don't understand why you wouldn't get involved in this important cause," Lewicki added.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation says cancers, which occur "below the belt" are deemed taboo and uncomfortable for many Albertans to talk about. This stigma results in less than adequate preliminary screenings and early diagnosis.
"33 per cent of new cancer cases in Alberta this year will involve those which occur below the belt," says Dr. Desmond Pink, Prostate Cancer Researcher at University of Alberta.
"Early detection for all cancers is vital to a successful outcome. Unfortunately, cancers like prostate, colorectal, ovarian, testicular, bladder, cervical, and uterine make people uncomfortable when it comes to proper discussion and screenings. As a result, people simply put off the annual screenings until it's too late. The great thing about our Underwear Affairs is they help lift the taboos around underwear cancers. If these folks here today can race a 10k wearing just their undies and running shoes, then surely any Albertan can get through a regular screening," Dr. Desmond Pink added.
Participants celebrated this year's fundraising results at the EXPOsed after party, which included food, beverages, and dancing. Event organizers also released the dates for the 2013 event and opened registration online and on site.
"We aim to make every year bigger and better," says Locke.
"We encourage everyone to register for the seventh annual Underwear Affair which will be held June 15th next year here in Edmonton. Visit www.uncoverthecure.org or call (780) 423.2220," Locke added.
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The Alberta Cancer Foundation is Alberta's own. It was established to advance cancer research province-wide and to directly support Alberta's 17 cancer centres, including the Cross Cancer Institute and Tom Baker Cancer Centre. At the Alberta Cancer Foundation, we believe a cancer-free future is both possible and inevitable. When we get there, depends on the focus and energy we put to it today.
For further information:
Ailish Steele, Communications Manager
(855) 287-3953, [email protected]