Great Pink Run 2021 raises €650,000 in funds

This year’s Great Pink Run virtual event has raised almost €650,000 in essential funding for vital breast cancer research, through an incredible global event which saw 8,359 individual #PinkTribe participants, including runners, joggers, and walkers of all ages taking part from all over the globe over the weekend of 16th & 17th October, with people from no less than 23 countries participating.

The aim of the event this year was to ‘turn the globe pink’, with participants being encouraged to run, walk, jog (or even scoot!) the circumference of the globe (40,700km) over the course of the event weekend, and to log their distance, supporting Breast Cancer Ireland’s pioneering research and awareness programmes nationally. This ambitious goal was realized on Sunday afternoon of the 17th October when the total number of KM’s logged during the event tipped over the 46,200km mark.

As an indication of the sheer scale of this event, to date, over 68,000 people have now taken part in the Great Pink Run since it began in 2011, raising over €4 million euro to support pioneering research across Ireland – ultimately aimed at developing new and more effective targeted therapies for patients diagnosed with breast cancer and fulfilling the charity’s mission to transform this disease, from often fatal, to a treatable illness that can be maintained long-term.

Commenting on the results of this year’s event, CEO of Breast Cancer Ireland, Aisling Hurley, says, “We are thrilled with the success of the Great Pink Run again this year, and whilst we disappointed not to be back in a physical sense with everyone, we are delighted with the phenomenal amount of money raised which I can personally guarantee, will make a significant impact through research into metastatic disease and will also help us change the landscape of this disease into the future.” She added, “Once again, I’d like to thank our valued sponsors, Glanbia, Fitbit, Cornmarket, Aut Even Hospital and Joe Duffy Group amongst others, who came on board and helped us, not only financially, but also by engaging with their staff and stakeholders. All costs associated with this year’s event were fully covered, ensuring that participant entry fees and individual fundraising efforts will now go directly to fund much needed and pioneering research efforts.”

The proceeds from this year’s event will now be used to help to fund life-saving research across two areas of particular need:

i. Continued investment into metastatic disease research, an ever-challenging area in need of significant support. Metastatic disease progression is one of the most challenging, where tumours evade traditional therapies, and migrate to invade major organs of the body. While advances are being made with new clinical trial drugs to areas like bone and spine metastases, brain mets are more challenging and therefore we invest significantly in both Fellowship support and international collaborations between BCI funded labs, based at the RCSI and the renowned Ludwig Breast Research Centre at the University of Chicago.

ii. Investment in driving progression and speed of scientific discovery from research settings into clinical trials, through the continuing collaboration with the designated cancer centres in building a national bio bank so clinicians and scientists nationally can access this, helping to speed up discovery output, and the establishment of new research fellowships – specifically focussed on sub-type cancers that pose the greatest challenges

Over the last six weeks, several well-known faces joined the ‘pink tribe’ in raising awareness of the event and driving registrations, including Sonia O’Sullivan, who is the Event Patron, Bobby Kerr, Entrepreneur, Broadcaster and Newstalk Presenter, Virgin Media broadcaster and Breast Cancer Ireland Ambassador Elaine Crowley Social Influencer & TV personality James Patrice, his mother Veronica Butler (Fron), Anne & Linda Nolan of the famous Nolan Sisters, international rugby player Josh van der Flier, and TV Presenter and personality, Nadine Reid amongst others.

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