Awareness Blog

Movin’ in on Movember

It’s that magical time of year again, when men all over the world grow out their moustaches to raise awareness for some of the biggest health issues facing men today. The Movember Foundation addresses men’s health on a global scale, tackling issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. Founded in 2003, the Movember Foundation has since inspired over 5 million “mo bros” and “mo sistas” to unite for the cause. Since its conception, the foundation has funded more than 1,200 projects which aim to reduce the premature deaths of men by 25% in the next 15 years.

This non-government funded foundation has truly made an impact on men’s health by investing in effective initiatives such as the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Service, The Young Investors Awards, New Concept and Equipment Grants 2012, and the Advanced Prostate Cancer Imaging Initiative to name a few. They truly inspire groups all over the world to help “stop men from dying too young”. For more information on their story visit their website at

Your QLCS group is proud to support the Movember cause. We’ve created a team online where each member helps get the word out and campaigns for donations from friends, family, and wherever else possible ( So far we’ve raised just shy of $2,000.00, and we have no intentions of stopping there. The moustache is the ribbon of Movember, so for those of you who can, we encourage you to join in and grow out that moustache! While attracting all the ladies and men with your sexy moustaches, you have the chance to be forwarding an amazing cause. For those individuals who can’t grow a moustache or “mo”, they also have the new option of getting active to raise funds, and of course, offering morale support by attending events and donating to the cause.

On top of joining our fundraising team, you can also attend one or all of the Movember inspired events that the QLCS will be hosting this month. Even something as easy as offering moral support for this worthy cause by attending events is incredibly helpful. To begin, on November 16th, the QLCS will be holding our very first Barcadia Party! Come on out to Barcadia on Princess Street to show off your gaming skills in the Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros tournament. As if coming and enjoying drinks, great company, and video games wasn’t enough, the winner of the tournament will also go home with a special prize, forever solidifying their place as gaming king or queen. Find out more information on tickets and event details on our Facebook page:

For those looking to utilize the new “move” option of the Movember foundations campaign, we will also be hosting a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament in the ARCS’s Upper East Gym on November 20th. There will be a 50/50 draw and prizes, so make sure to enter your team of 3-4 members and get tickets your tickets ASAP so you don’t miss out! Our last event will be the iconic Pin the Mo on the Dean event to cap off the month. Details on this one will be posted closer to the event so keep an eye out – it’s definitely not one you’ll want to skip.

So why not blow off some steam this busy November and take part in an amazing cause to support our men? The QLCS can’t wait to see those impressive moustaches this month!

Written by Melissa Veenstra

The Power of Pink

The CIBC Run for the Cure is just around the corner. This year, it’s taking place on Sunday, October 2nd, and Queen’s Law is excited to continue its tradition of having a team run for this incredible event! While many of us know that the Run for the Cure helps to raise money for cancer research, there’s lots more to it…

So, what IS the CIBC Run for the Cure?

The Run for the Cure is the product of a partnership between the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), CIBC, and communities across the country that have taken a stand against breast cancer. It’s an incredible initiative that today draws over 100,000 participants and raises over $20 million.

Run Day takes place in 63 locations across Canada. Each community brings together individuals who are committed to changing the face of breast cancer in a day full of activity and hope – and of course, t-shirts in the official colour of breast cancer awareness – pink!

 Why do we do it?

Queen’s Law has a history of fundraising for cancer research and spreading awareness about the cause. The QLCS is committed to putting on awareness events and activities to engage our entire QL community, ranging from soccer-baseball tournaments to the annual Cabaret for a Cure.

We choose to take part in CIBC’s Run for the Cure each year because it is a FANTASTIC event in support of an important cause! One in nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian women. While most breast cancers will be diagnosed in women over the age of 50, about 36 percent of cancers diagnosed in women between the ages of 30 and 49 will be breast cancer.

Breast cancer continues to affect women and their families every year. The good news is that fewer Canadian women are dying from breast cancer today than in the past – the breast cancer mortality rate is down 44% since its peak in 1986. Stronger guidelines surrounding mammography screening and advanced technology have led to earlier detection of breast cancer, and improved treatments have helped more and more women fight the disease. It’s events like CIBC’s Run for the Cure, which uses the money it raises to create breast cancer research grants, community health grants, and support programs, which contribute to the fight against breast cancer.

We’re so excited to be part of this year’s Run for the Cure. QL, it’s time for us to show breast cancer The Power of Pink!

We hope you’ll be joining us this Sunday to share with us why YOU Run for the Cure! If you’d like to donate or join our team, you can do so here:

Written by Pavan Virdee

Here’s To More Good Hair Days

What was your childhood like? Twenty-something years ago did you sing along to your favourite Disney song on your way to soccer practice, with your biggest fear revolving around getting picked last for a game at recess? Doctors’ check-ups were routine, the only time you went to the hospital was to meet your new siblings or cousins, and you never had to see your parents cry because they were worried about your health.

And you had hair.

My hair was white-blonde, long (except for that time I had a bowl cut…), and it became a large part of my identity, a lot like how I imagine it would feel to be Rapunzel. It seems like an odd question, but can you imagine what your childhood would have been like if you didn’t have hair? The tale of Rapunzel wouldn’t even exist without her hair.

For approximately 10,000 cancer-stricken children in Canada each year, this is their reality. Their childhood is not a childhood, and the bald reflection in the mirror is unrecognizable. Their days are spent indoors, whether at the hospital or confined to their own homes. They don’t get to go to soccer practice, they may not have the energy to sing along to their favourite Disney song, and their fears, along with those of their parents, are much greater than what will happen at recess.

On Friday, January 15, the Queen’s Law Cancer Society is hosting its first annual Shave for a Cure event to raise money for Childhood Cancer Canada, an amazing organization whose tireless efforts have made incredible advancements in treatment options and survival rates for cancers that affect Canadian youth. Hair, or lack there of, is often a very visible sign of one’s cancer diagnosis, so by volunteering to shave your head or cut off several inches of your luscious locks, you are showing these cancer-stricken children that you support them, and that they are not alone.

From someone who rarely has a good hair day, I can tell you that when it finally happens, I feel like I can take on the world. So come out to support the children who need that good-hair-day-feeling more than any of us.

Written by Stephanie McLoughlin


The Other October: Bringing Brain Cancer out of Breast Cancer’s Shadow

In October’s sea of pink feather boas, pink t-shirts, and pink face paint, a grey ribbon could easily be mistaken as simply a faded version of its bright pink counterpart; however, in Canada, breast cancer shares October with brain cancer as its awareness month, with grey ribbons representing the dual battle this disease has had to face: the battle to find a cure, and the battle to be seen.

According to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada (BTFC), which, unlike the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), receives no government funding, an estimated 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour each day. In 2010, one such Canadian was Trevor Harrison, who, now a survivor, sits on the advocacy committee for the BTFC. As Trevor explains, “a lot of airtime and money goes into a number of other cancer causes, leaving comparatively paltry amounts of both for brain tumours.” Given the over 120 different types of brain cancers, the fact that men, women, and children can develop the disease, and the sheer complexity of the brain itself, increased funding and awareness are desperately needed to help combat a devastating form of cancer that can dramatically affect an individual’s emotions, cognitive abilities, and daily life.

So what can be done to give brain cancer research a louder voice and more visibility? The simplest and most engaging way to do this is simply to get involved. As is common with many charitable organizations these days, the BTFC also hosts a series of run and walk events as their primary source of fundraising. Each spring, several “Spring Sprints” occur across the country; however, this event does not have nearly as much exposure as the CIBC Run for the Cure that benefits the CBCF. So this spring, consider getting your daily exercise by taking part in the movement to end brain tumours. If you want to support more specific foundations, such as those directly associated with childhood brain cancer, Meagan’s Walk hosts a walk and a “giant hug” around Sick Kids Hospital each May, and b.r.a.i.n.child does excellent work to provide support for the families of children battling brain cancer.

Written by Stephanie McLoughlin


Special thanks to Trevor Harrison for sharing his story and knowledge with me!

To Check, or Not to Check? That is the Question

The process has always been a simple one. You go to the doctor for your yearly uncomfortable, and totally awkward physical. If all goes well, you’re sent on your way, but before you leave the office, your doctor reminds you to do regular breast self-exams (BSEs) from time to time. You nod your head, smile, and get on with your day. Some take the doctor’s advice, others don’t, but generally, it has always been recommended to do so.

However, recently doctors have changed their views on this, and have actually urged their patients not to perform breast self-exams. This is due to the fact that in 2007, the Canadian Cancer Society stopped recommending it as a way to find cancer. You are probably as confused as I was when I heard this, and that is why I am here to shed light on the two stances that exist within this controversial debate.

Dr. Nancy Baxter, a surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, explains that based on her studies, women who regularly did BSEs were just as likely to pass away from breast cancer as those who did not. She argues that young women have a very low risk of developing breast cancer, and so most BSE findings will be benign. Interestingly enough, she states that although most women discover breast cancer on their own, they are more likely to find out through bathing, dressing, or sexual relations, rather than BSEs. Baxter also highlights the fact that tumours found with BSE are relatively large compared to other screening tests such as mammography. Consistently performing your own examination leads to more unnecessary physician visits for breast problems and unwarranted biopsies.

Diana Ermel, the president of the Canadian Breast Cancer Network and a nurse of 42 years, has a different perspective. She was lucky enough to discover her own cancer 16 years ago, and explains that it is important to go to a health professional if a woman feels that something is abnormal and the only way to do this, is to understand what is “normal” for her. BSEs help women learn what their “normal” is, and can increase the odds of catching warning signs early.

This leaves us with the question of which stance is the correct one. At this point, it is important to note that there are valid arguments for each side, and that the debate will likely continue until a more concrete answer is formed. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, visit

Written by Nicole Zavalkovsky 

Seeing The World Through Rose Coloured Ribbons

Cans, jugs, knockers, melons, headlights

Now that I’ve got your attention, you know this is clearly not just a random string of words. It made you think of breasts, didn’t it? Of all the body parts, a woman’s breasts have arguably the most nicknames, incite the most sheepish giggles, and often garner the most attention. Yet, when attempting to have serious discussions about the cancer that affects this body part, those giggles turn not only into embarrassment, but also into a self-conscious shame. This leads to an unwillingness to speak about a form of cancer that, in recent years, has seen advancements in terms of both detection and treatment. So what can be done to create more open discussions about the type of cancer that an estimated 25,000 women will be diagnosed with this year?

The answer that has often been turned to has been a play on words, and a splash of pink. One of the many efforts of this kind came from The Keep A Breast Foundation, whose “I Love Boobies” campaign was immensely popular, particularly among the younger generation. This organization’s initiative seeks to “remove the shame associated with breasts and breast health”. Also, “the program resonates with young people, encourages them to be open and active about breast cancer prevention.” A great deal of the funds that this organization raises is done through the sale of merchandise, specifically their “I Love Boobies” bracelets and t-shirts.

On the surface, this seems like an excellent program, and it may very well be, as young people certainly need a way of feeling more comfortable with having these important discussions. But while pink ribbons and t-shirts are being sold left, right, and centre, the question that has been frequently raised is this: has supporting breast cancer awareness and research become nothing more than a marketing ploy? The phenomenon has been called “pinkwashing,” and claims the only reason this cancer has received such attention is because of the female breast’s sexualization, and therefore, its marketability. A compelling, yet certainly sobering argument, wouldn’t you agree? I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind about the claims, but first, stop and ask yourself this: what other cancer also has October as its awareness month? Bet you don’t know the answer.

Written by Stephanie McLoughlin


6 Reasons to run for the CIBC Run For the Cure on October 4!

1.) You get to run for a GREAT cause.

Running is tough, but, remember, you’re running to raise money for research. People all over the world are suffering because of cancer and desperately need a cure. Whether you raise a dollar, 10 dollars or even 300 dollars, every little bit counts.

2.) Running for Charity gives you motivation to push yourself

It’s easy to bail on a commitment you made to yourself to run/exercise every day, but it is extremely hard to disappoint a charity and all your sponsors. Once you make a public obligation, you won’t want to let other people down and you’ll push yourself to do it!

3.) You challenge yourself!

A lot of us love running, but most of us hate running. Nevertheless, registering for a charity forces you to challenge yourself. Doesn’t matter if you walked 1 km or ran 5 km, what matters is that you took on the challenge and completed it!

4.) Get to be part of a team

Who likes running by themselves? One of the hardest things about exercising/running is that often times, you are running on your own. But, when you are running for a charity, you run for a team! Who doesn’t like feeling like their part of something bigger than them?  More specifically, you will be running for Queen’s Law “Bras & Bros” Team, the most dedicated team there is! And as an added bonus, we all get matching t-shirts! YAY!

5.) You Inspire others

A person can often underestimate the impact that running for a charity has on others. When you take the time out of your busy schedule that involves readings, clubs, and clinics to raise money for a good cause, you inspire others to run for charity! You inspire other people to think about issues bigger than themselves! You will inspire people to take part in activities that benefit the whole society!

6.) Get Fit

While you’re doing all of these great things, you are working out and getting fit!

Sign up online to take part in the run at:

We hope to see you all there 🙂

Written by Inder Suri