A Bigger Team Means a Bigger Impact at the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer
For the second year in a row it rained, but once again the Lab Lifesavers were triumphant as the team crossed the finish line at the Rogers Centre and made their mark in the fight against women’s cancer.
Walking in the 11th Annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancer, the Lab Lifesaver team included members from across all divisions in the Laboratory Medicine Program. With a team of 26 people, the group was able to raise $44,170.50 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Over $1,500 of the group’s total donations came from the LMP Staff Lunch and weekly 50/50 draws – allowing all members of the Laboratory Medicine Program to support the team and the cause, even if they weren’t walking.
The walk was spread over the weekend of September 7 – 8 and was over 32km on the first day or 60 km for the entire weekend. It was a tough walk for some, but the feeling of walking as a team for a great cause made it all worth it.
According to Maria Amenta, “the generosity and support from the public was remarkable. What a great feeling!”
When the walk was over and the team headed into the Rogers Centre, “it was so cool when you walked into the Rogers Centre and a guy on a mic was announcing your name and your face was on the JumboTron. I never felt so important in my life! What a relief and sense of accomplishment,” she added.
Tom Clancy agrees, adding that “it was a very wet day on Saturday but relatively warm. Despite the rain, it was quite enjoyable to meet other walkers and knowing that we were walking for a good cause.”
Not everyone on the team was able to walk, but some Lab Lifesavers still wanting to support the cause volunteered as “crew members.”
According to Chris Cursio, who acted as a crew member, “it was nice to be able to participate as a crew member; our snack/lunch station team quickly became friends as the weather grew more challenging on the Saturday. We stared to cheer in unison as the next group of walkers came through. I’d crew again in a heartbeat!”
Once again Dr. Sylvia Asa, the Medical Director of the Laboratory Medicine Program, served as the Team Captain for the group, but this year she was joined by Dianne Chadwick who encouraged people to sign up and join the team. After the walk, a particularly favourite moment of Dianne’s was the after party featuring Burton Cummings as “he was fabulous,” she said.
For Pam McCartin, a first time walker on the team, it was an event to remember as “in spite of the rain we all walked with purpose and determination (Cherry Have and I walked the whole 32 km!). What most impressed me was the amount of community involvement.”
She explains how great it was to have the UHN team well represented, “especially the researchers, clinicians, nurses and other staff from PMH that were out in front of the hospital as we went by. Particularly Dr. Done and Dr. Berman and Carm and Cecelia from the PRP Lab were there to cheer us on. Plus the residents of the communities of Greektown and Little India came out in the rain to greet and high-five us.”
Another favourite moment of Pam’s was that “along a stretch of Coxwell Ave there were posters created by children from a local school and the signs along the parkland pathways by the PMH Foundation telling us how the funds had benefited cancer patients already.”
She also loved how “near the end of the route, on Front St., a young girl and her mother were out with cups of iced tea for the walkers. Everybody from the volunteers to people on the street gave us such encouragement.”
As well, how “at the Rogers Centre it was great to see the cancer program “directors” up on the stage, including Drs Asa and Berman from LMP. It was a fantastic event to behold and for me it was an honor to have participated in it.”
And fellow walker Cherry Have loved the team t-shirts as “once the rain stopped we could proudly display our shirts which were recognized by others at the walk!”
After the walk, Brad Davis told everyone how “the walk is a genuine and emotional expression of the care and commitment that LMP brings to the fight against cancer. The fund-raising lunches, the 50/50 draws, walkers, crew members and pledges from our colleagues all helped us to come together as one team, one cause, one team effort!!”
Well done to the entire Lab Lifesavers team and all those who came to the staff lunch and purchased 50/50 tickets throughout the summer. Great work!
Full team roster:
Personal Gift Maria Amenta
Shirin Amir Yeganeh