Each year at the Sudbury ROCKS! race, Tannys Laughren waits at the finish line, cheering on participants as they finish their race. But this year, people like Laughren will be cheering the runners on virtually, as the event is now online.
Laughren is the executive director of the Northern Cancer Foundation — the organization that will receive the proceeds raised by this year’s race. The foundation supports people in Sudbury and across the region who are receiving cancer treatment.
“What happened before is happening now, I mean, we haven’t stopped for COVID,” Laughren said. “Unfortunately, cancer didn’t get the memo that things need to shut down.”
The money raised by the run stays in the community to support those receiving treatment and helps people access care closer to home.
“Even in recent history, people had to travel for a PET scanner,” she said. “They had to go to Toronto, they had to go to Ottawa. So in the last year or two, people have been able to access that world-class technology right here in Sudbury.”
Laughren says having access to imaging technology, like a PET scan, closer to home usually leads to better outcomes when it comes to medical care.
“When you need a PET scan, usually it’s because you’re not feeling well,” she said. “So to have to travel … sometimes people just didn’t do it. And so they missed out on that opportunity for a better diagnostic imaging piece to help with their treatment plan.”
Laughren says it makes sense for the foundation to partner with a fundraising effort that promotes fitness.
“The healthier you are, the more active you are, the better chances you have of having a positive journey through cancer,” she said.
As runners get ready to take to the streets for the Sudbury Rocks race, all the money raised for the event will go to the Northeast Cancer Foundation. The CBC’s Martha Dillman spoke with executive director Tannys Laughren to find out what that money will do to help.