It is estimated that more than 22,000 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Even in Ontario, where the provincial government covers many medical costs, the average out-of-pocket expense for women in treatment for breast cancer is $213 per month. Since many victims are unable to work, this amount can be significant even unmanageable. Shannon Doell, a REALTOR® with Sutton Group – First Choice Realty Ltd., gathered more than a dozen friends and family members, created costumes (included flashing bras) and participated in a unique Braz for the Cause fundraiser.
“There are so many charities involved in cancer research, which is very important, but I love that this event helps local Stratford patients,” says Shannon. “These are our friends, our family, our mothers, our aunts who are getting direct help from the event with costs like child care, wigs and some uninsured medications. I also love to do things locally so it’s nice when you go to the dinner and even though there are 330 ladies there, I know quite a few of them because Stratford is a small community.”
This is the second year that Shannon has participated in the fun, women-only event. Last year, she gathered friends and family to fill a table and this year, her group filled two tables. Planning for the May 10th evening began in January.
“This is a popular event that sells out fast. I started signing people up in January then we picked a theme – this year we were the Tahiti Flashers! Everyone wears bras outside their clothes and ours had little LED lights that flashed and we wore hula-type skirts. Aside from the entry fee and creating our costumes, we also pooled our money and bought a donation prize for the table for the raffle. I put together another basket on my own. The evening included dinner, entertainment, a live auction and a raffle.”
Monies raised by Braz™ do not fund research, but directly support breast cancer patients through the Massel-Cruickshank Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund by way of the London Regional Cancer Program Patient Assistance Program. Braz helps to cover the costs of items such as wigs, prostheses, palliative care, child care, taxi fare and more.
This story was adapted – with permission – from one originally featured on the Sutton Spirit website. The Sutton Spirit program recognizes Sutton associates across Canada that improve and enhance the lives of the people around them.