Pink Ribbon Challenge

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Juppé in Pink backs 10th Anniversary of Bordeaux’s Part in Breast Cancer Awareness

Donning a pink T-shirt Alain Juppé, the UMP Mayor of Bordeaux, and likely centre-right contender in the 2017 presidential election, joined thousands of other Bordelais over the weekend to support national breast cancer awareness month.Dominique Rousseau Lebourg of Comité Féminin Gironde, founder of Bordeaux fun run (Credit Mike Alexander)

As home city to Bergonie, the world renowned cancer research hospital, Bordeaux has long been at the forefront of the fight against cancer and October sees a month-long series of events taking place throughout the city to help generate awareness about a devastating disease which affects one in nine women in France and one percent of French men.

A highlight of the month is a fun run along the river Garonne in which thousands of runners, walkers and even wheel-chaired participants take part in the Pink Ribbon Challenge, a five or ten kilometres race along the banks of the river to raise money for the CFG-Comité Féminin Gironde.

Although he didn’t don his running shoes the Mayor’s support lent further momentum to an event which has become hugely popular in Bordeaux. This year sees the race, originally conceived by Dominique Rousseau Lebourg, celebrating its tenth anniversary. Dominique is herself a recovered victim of breast cancer, and organiser of the CFG.

She first developed the idea after becoming aware that only one in three women have themselves tested regularly for breast cancer. She points out that if all women aged 50-60 were tested every two years, 3,000 lives a year could be saved.

Ten years ago she was only able to attract two 250 runners. Today, thanks to unremitting hard work by herself and a determined band of volunteers, the number of runners has grown to 6,000, the maximum number the city will legally allow her to gather for the event.

This record number was achieved just weeks after the opening entry date and could have been hundreds more had city authorities been able to accommodate more entrants in safety.

The race is not the only way to participate. At the latest event there were bands, manicures, beauty treatments and a variety of pink memento sales, all designed to generate money to help the work of the CFG.

Pink October in Gironde means numerous events taking place across the department. These include golfing events, street art, film shows and talks, with the combined objective of raising awareness of breast cancer and funding further research into the fight against it.

As Alain Juppé speaking ahead of the fun run noted; “Ninety percent of cancers revealed through preventative testing will have been successfully treated.”

Similar events take place across France in October as the movement’s Facebook page and this video clip of a mass zumba session in Angers, show.

If any of our readers wish to participate in one of next year’s events or donate to any of the numerous charities involved in the fight against cancer do visit October Rose Bordeaux on Facebook or this website.

Writer: Mike Alexander

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