Caroline (pictured left) with her aunt Christine

Caroline Cormier is currently a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.

For as long as I can remember, my aunt Christine has been one of my biggest supporters. In fact, she has always played an important role in my life as both a mentor and a friend. For instance, I clearly remember how eager she was to come with me on my grade twelve exploration of the university campuses I had applied to for my undergraduate studies. Years later, she would be the one to make it possible for me to fulfill my dream of studying and volunteering abroad in Central and South America during my time at Queen’s University. No matter what zany idea I have had over the years about how to take on the world, my aunt has always been there to cheer me on. She is a constant source of encouragement, always challenging me to embrace new experiences and to live my life to the fullest.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer on January 30 of this year, I didn’t know what to do or how I could help. Her diagnosis marked the beginning of what would become days, weeks, and months full of seemingly endless trips to doctors appointments and chemotherapy sessions. Just last month she had a double mastectomy and she will begin radiation treatments later this week. Despite undergoing this grueling schedule, her positive attitude has endured. Since January, my family and I have been reminded time and again of how lucky we are to have such a courageous and determined woman in our midst.

Caroline at the 2012 CIBC Run for the Cure

As my aunt continues on with her treatment, I wanted to show my support in the best way I knew how: I decided that I would once again participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure and continue to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. With the support of so many amazing people in my life, by October 6 I will have contributed almost $10,000 to help CBCF continue to invest in innovative research projects across the country – many of which have led to important progress in breast cancer prevention, detection, treatment and care.

Less than two weeks away now, I am looking forward to joining thousands of people in the streets of Toronto (and all across Canada) – not just because this cause is deeply personal for my family and me – but because I know that together the money we raise is imperative to a future without breast cancer.