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Organizers hope to raise millions for breast cancer research

Spots are going fast for the inaugural Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk in Vancouver

Spots are going fast for the inaugural Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk in Vancouver Aug. 20-22, a benefit for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

Over two days thousands of men and women will walk 50 kilometres around Vancouver to draw attention to breast cancer and raise money for research and treatment programs.

Whistler’s Jennifer Leigh, a public health nurse with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, has already raised more than $2,800 in pledges for the event, which is expected to draw as many as 3,000 walkers. Each walker is expected to raise $2,000 for the cause.

If everyone is successful, then the inaugural Vancouver event – there are also walks in Toronto and New York – could raise as much as $6 million.

Leigh says she wanted to participate as soon as she heard about the walk.

"I have a really strong family history of breast cancer, and I have a daughter as well, so I wanted to help find a cure, and help raise money for research and prevention," she said.

Although it’s been a lot of work to raise the money, she says people are extremely generous.

"Breast cancer is one of those things that affects everyone. Most people will know someone who has or has had breast cancer, you don’t have to explain the disease or why it’s important to donate," said Leigh.

According to the B.C. Cancer Foundation one in every nine Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite new treatments and early detection programs, one of four women with the disease will die of the disease.

Leigh knows of seven or eight other Whistler women who will be taking part in the walk.

Leigh says it’s going to be a long walk around Vancouver, and she has been going for training walks with Paula Delbosco, another Whistler resident who is taking part in the event, to get ready.

The organizers of the event will be supporting walkers along the way with food, drinks, and entertainment. They will also provide tents and support vehicles that will carry packs for the walkers.

You can make a donation to Leigh, Delbosco or other Whistler participants online at