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World Cancer Day brings disease to global forefront
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, February 4, 2014 2:15PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 4, 2014 7:01PM MST
In Alberta, 43 people hear the words “you have cancer” every day and experts are working to reduce that number and improve survival rates.
“The Alberta Cancer Foundation is looking for the most impactful projects to invest in. Things that are going to make a difference, have a strategic impact on the rate at which people are getting cancer in this province,” said Angela Boehm, Chair of the Alberta Cancer Foundation
Boehm says there are over 220 types of cancer in the world and close to 70 of those are curable.
“We are making huge progress and not only are people surviving, there’s also people living a lot longer than they did previously,” said Boehm.
Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer in Canada and account for over half of all new cases.
The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is one of the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s premier fundraisers and participants ride over 200 kilometres over two days to raise money and awareness.
Mary Beth Eckersley has had cancer twice and says the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer symbolizes her journey.
“When I ride the bike, I ride it for everyone who has gone through what I went through and still going through,” said Eckersley.
Eckersley has completed the ride five times and says she wore her team jersey to every treatment to help her get through it.
“I often compared each day with getting ready to ride. I wore my cycling jersey to every treatment so I have a bit of a reputation in chemo, everybody knows who I am. I got ready to ride, everybody was there to help me, everybody in the whole environment is there to make you stronger, to help you survive, to help you be there the next time,” said Eckersley.
Last year she participated in the ride while going through treatment and while she didn’t complete it she says she had the support of her team.
“I decided okay this isn’t going to be my last thing and this isn’t going to be the end of it. I’m going to make a difference. I’m going to fight as best as I can and if I can’t help myself, I would at least help somebody who has to follow in my footsteps,” said Eckersley.
Nearly 16,000 Albertans are diagnosed with cancer every year and on average 200 Canadians die from the disease every day.
The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is on August 9th and 10th, 2014.
For more information or to register a team, click HERE.