A mother and daughter from Pitt Meadows took part in the seventh annual Underwear Affair in memory of a family member who had died recently from cancer.
Colleen Jackson and her daughter April took part in the 2012 Underwear Affair in memory of their husband and father who passed of penile cancer. Colleen herself is a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with breast cancer back in the summer of 2009. After a year of treatment, Colleen's cancer was in remission and she was getting back to work when her husband was diagnosed in 2010.
The fundraiser, which took place in early July, drew 1,035 participants to race or walk in underwear and outrageous attire through downtown Vancouver and raised more than $600,000 to address cancers that occur "below the belt."
In four short months what started as penile cancer had rapidly metabolized, and in July 2010 he passed away.
This year the mother-daughter pair were joined by family and friends as they walked five kilometres in support of research and treatment of cancers below the waist.
"We are absolutely thrilled with the support and engagement of British Columbians who chose to take part in the Underwear Affair this year," says Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.
"48 percent of newly diagnosed cancer cases in B.C are those which occur below the waist. The $633,000 raised in this year's Underwear Affair will support groundbreaking research discoveries to help us improve outcomes for British Columbia cancer patients and help us achieve a world free from cancer," Nelson added.
The 7th Underwear Affair started and finished next to Rogers Arena, and consisted of a chip-timed 10 km race or 5 km walk through downtown Vancouver before ending with a thrilling after party to celebrate this year's fundraising results. Participants completed the courses clad in outrageous costumes, underwear and athletic attire as spectators along the route cheered them on.
"I was diagnosed with in-situ cervical cancer in my 20s and my sister survived Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma," says fourth-year participant and top fundraiser Brynn Logan from Nanaimo.
"For me, The Underwear Affair is an opportunity to raise funds for research, and break the taboos that comes along with these cancers. I look forward to this event every year, as it gives me this incredible feeling of community, supporting a great cause while having a lot of fun," Logan added.
"The range of cancers that can develop below the waist is broad and the more public awareness that's out there, the greater the opportunity we have to positively impact early detection and the research we conduct on these diseases," says Dr. Hagen Kennecke, a medical oncologist and current Chair of the Provincial Gastrointestinal Tumour Group at the BC Cancer Agency.