Charity walk for breast cancer and MMIWG this Sunday

Staff

A cancer diagnosis, or news of a missing loved one, both mark the start of long journeys.
James Eastman is hoping to tackle both of these problems with a long journey of his own, and he’s hoping others will join him.
He’s organizing a 35 km walk/run, to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), with proceeds raised being split between the two causes. He’s inviting others to join in by walking, or by pledging support to the event.
“It’s been eating at me to do something along these lines,” he said in a video for supporters on Facebook. “I’m feeling kind of pumped about this.”
The walk/run will be held this Sunday, Oct 25. Walkers are asked to gather at 4 a.m., behind JD Junction in Manitou Rapids. The walk/run begins at 5 a.m. and the 35 km route will end around Fort Frances town limits. Financial pledges and donations of snacks and water, and vehicle escorts are all welcomed. To donate, contact Eastman at walk4breastcancer.mmiwg@gmail.com or call 807-276-2332. The event is also on Facebook at Walk/Run-A-Thon For Breast Cancer/MMIWG.
“People can join in all along the route. If you want to come out and walk for 10 minutes or the entire time, that just shows that love and that heart, and people who want to make a difference,” he said. “I hope that we can make a difference with these issues that are ongoing. Unfortunately, they shouldn’t be, but they are.”
The event will go ahead regardless of the weather or how many people show up, Eastman said.
“I’m not doing this for me. I’m not doing this for the spotlight. That’s not my motivation. My motivation is we need to be aware of these issues that are out there. The only way to bring that to light is for all of us to get together and do this, whether it be just myself, or two or three other people. However many people,” he said.
Eastman explained this is an event that has been in the back of his mind for some time. Although it may start small this year, he’s thinking is could eventually become an annual event for the community. But his main motivation is to shine a spotlight on two causes he believes in.
“I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing this as a wake-up call that we need to get together, we need to team up and we need to do this,” he said.
“I know either cancer has struck you in some way as a person, or in your family. Not just breast cancer, but other forms of cancer.”
“As with our brothers and sisters out there, we need to keep an eye out. We’ve got to look after each other. We’ve got to watch each other’s backs. Nobody should be going missing. Nobody should be stealing our children, our brothers, our sisters, our family, friends or strangers. We’re all on Turtle Island together for a reason, and that’s to look after each other,” he continued.
“It’s not just Indigenous people who have gone missing. It’s all walks of life, all four colours, all four directions.”