The Linear Accelerators
The Linear Accelerators are no strangers to BRIGHT Run. The team has participated right from the start, through sunshine, clouds and rain…lots of rain!
Virtual BRIGHT 2020 was different for this team, as it was for all of us. And while team captain Lisa Balsdon says nothing can replace the buzz and electricity of event day at Dundas Valley Conservation Area, there was still a strong sense of community for the team in 2020.
“Last year’s virtual opening ceremonies were inspiring and we still felt connected to one another,” said Lisa, a radiation therapist and the BRIGHT survivor spokesperson in 2019. “I thought the executive team did a great job event day.”
The team was fortunate to have squeezed in an in-person Valentine’s Day bake sale and raffle at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre before the first COVID-19 restrictions. After that, they continued their fundraising online, reaching out to previous donors, friends and family. Over the course of the team’s participation in BRIGHT Run, members have raised almost $60,000.
On event day, about 15 team members participated in small groups, each getting their pink on and doing their own thing. For example, Lisa’s family (Lisa, husband David, daughter Meaghan and dog Presley) joined with Janavicius family team mates on a 5K walk on a wetland trail close to home.
“We ended up meeting two other teams walking in the same area,” Lisa said. “That felt good!”
Meanwhile, daughter Alexandra and her partner Aric, who live in Calgary, did a 10K walk at Fish Creek Provincial Park, decked out in their BRIGHT Run apparel. Team member Melanie Carrigan, daughters Ella and Ava, along with dog Gus, went for a run on the rail trail and team co-captain Michele Cardoso and daughter Zoe participated in their neighbourhood with a walk and bike ride.
“I loved seeing other teams in my community along our event route. It reminded me of the nature of grassroots events and how they grow to invigorate people to get up and do something that makes a difference.”
“And as a cancer survivor, I am always grateful to be outside and thankful to be well, alive and able to walk for such an important cause,” she said.
As the second virtual BRIGHT Run approaches, Lisa has positive feelings about her 2020 experience.
“It was different, but it was a good different,” she said.
“It was astounding the amount of money that was raised last year, especially considering the hardship and financial instability that so many people endured due to the pandemic,” she said. “I believe it really shows the value that our community, participants and sponsors place on this event. It is meaningful and relevant.”