Sunday morning, the participants at the 3rd Annual North Bay Brain Tumour Walk, did not let a heavy downpour dampen their spirits. Over 100 walkers navigated a course that began and ended at the North Bay Discovery Museum, to raise funds for brain tumour research.
With the recent diagnosis of Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie with a terminal brain tumour, the event has gained increased attention.
Sharon Whiteside, Events Officer at the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, said that Downie's health crisis has "The phones ringing off the hook. It's a horrible way to achieve awareness, but we're very pleased that he is being so open with his diagnosis and his treatment."
For more on brain tumour awareness: http://www.braintumour.ca
One eye-opening fact, provided by the foundation, is that every day across Canada, 27 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour. In addition to Downie's plight, local musician Steve Clarke recently succumbed to a brain tumour.
For more on Steve Clarke: https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/songs-for-steve-lives-on-as-tribute-to-local-musician-304012
Whiteside said fundraising efforts are coast-to-coast, pointing to "Twenty events staggered throughout the summer, across the country."
"We couldn't do it without the volunteers. The local committee secured the route, Canadore College Student Council is coming out in support," relayed Whiteside.
"We have survivors coming out to participate in the third year of the event, spreading the word about a potential local support group forming locally," continued Whiteside. A fundraising goal of $10,000 has been met, and is surging past the $15,000 mark, locally.
One of the most valuable dynamics of the walk, explained Whiteside, is "It's an opportunity for survivors to meet one another, or for people who have lost a loved one to a brain tumour, to get together, for support."