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Giving Tuesday: Krista DuChene lends support to pancreatic cancer run

The first race took place in Dartmouth, N.S., in 2014, and the event has since expanded to include runs in all 10 provinces

pancreatic cancer run

On the evening of Sunday, Dec. 3, runners and walkers dressed in purple and adorned with Christmas lights and glow sticks will gather on Burlington, Ont.’s lakeshore with a single mission: to kick pancreatic cancer to the curb. The annual nighttime 5K, which recently rebranded as Kicking PancreAS, is organized by Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society. The first race took place in Dartmouth, N.S., in 2014, and the event has since expanded to include runs in all 10 provinces.

pancreatic cancer run

The race was first brought to Burlington by Kerry Halcovitch, and is now run in her memory and honour. Halcovitch was an avid runner who received a diagnosis of pancreatic within six months of completing an Ironman. “She fought the disease for two years,” says Halvoitch’s close friend and now Burlington Kicking PancreAS Race Director, Mari Spano. “This is actually quite rare, as most Canadians diagnosed with pancreatic cancer pass within the first year.”

This year, Spano is very excited to announce that Canadian track and field athlete, Olympian and Canadian 50K record holder Krista DuChene is serving as ambassador, and will be in attendance in Burlington to help motivate and inspire participants. DuChene, who lost both her parents to cancer at a young age, understands the importance of resilience and determination, both in long-distance running and in the fight against cancer.

pancreatic cancer run

According to the Canadian Cancer Society website, “Although pancreatic cancer is not one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Canada, it is expected to be the third leading cause of cancer death in 2023.” Currently, the five-year net survival for pancreatic cancer is 10 per cent. This means only one in 10 Canadians diagnosed with the disease will survive five years or more after their diagnosis. “As a passionate advocate for health and wellness,” says DuChene, “I am eager to lend my support to change the outcome of pancreatic cancer in Canada.”

Canadian sprinter raises $15,000 in three days to support his mother’s cancer battle

Burlington Kicking PancreAS participants will actively contribute to the programs and resources needed to enhance the quality of life for pancreatic cancer patients today and in the future, all while enjoying a family-friendly event and getting to take in the sights of the waterfront Festival of Lights displays. The race is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, and each will each receive running bibs, light-up swag and finisher medals.  

To register and/or donate to the event, go to the run’s website, here.

Brett Basbaum is a regular contributor to Canadian Running who runs in her community of Dundas, Ont.


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