Randy Mellon is part of a very select group—supporters of The Princess Margaret who have walked in all 10 of The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers events (formerly the Weekend to End Breast Cancer). That’s 10 consecutive years of preparing for a walk of 60 kilometres over two days (in all kinds of weather!) and raising a minimum of $2,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. “We are so honoured to have this group of participants who dedicate themselves to this event year after year. They want to conquer cancer as much as we do, and this is their way of contributing,” says Karen Adams, Director of The Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.
And a huge contribution it is. In 10 years, the event has raised over $133 million for research into women’s cancers, clinical enhancements and survivorship programs, and significant progress has been made. Today, almost 90 percent of women who receive a diagnosis of breast cancer post menopause, survive for more than five years. This is thanks to earlier detection and more effective treatments that are now available (see our online annual report for a summary of progress made at The Princess Margaret).
Randy, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, is very grateful for this progress. But she is also the mother of two young daughters, and she naturally worries about the more aggressive breast cancers that are typically faced by younger women. She is walking so that her daughters and all daughters do not have to face a cancer diagnosis.
She has made The Weekend a true family affair with her oldest daughter joining her as a walker for the first time this year, and her husband and younger daughter contributing by selling ‘pink’ gifts and fundraising items to walkers. Randy has personally raised more than $220,000 over the 10 years of the event…an amazing amount for one person. And her impact hasn’t stopped there. She has made it a business to help other walkers with their fundraising—reflecting the generous and helping spirit of this motivated community.