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Fighting cancer while having fun

The Ovarian Cysters featuring the IncrediBALLS pose with the Green Men on the Underwear Affair red carpet Saturday.  - Thomas Buchan photo
The Ovarian Cysters featuring the IncrediBALLS pose with the Green Men on the Underwear Affair red carpet Saturday.
— image credit: Thomas Buchan photo

Participants in the Underwear Affair are known for taking a light-hearted approach to the serious issue of cancers below the waist.

Wendy Casey’s South Surrey fundraising team did just that last weekend, when they dressed up as superheroes and dubbed themselves the Ovarian Cysters featuring the IncrediBALLS for the BC Cancer Foundation’s sixth annual walk/run.

The team of six – whose black tights and gloves, red shorts and masks resembled the garb worn by characters in the animated film The Incredibles – joined more than 1,000 flamboyantly costumed participants in the July 9 event in Vancouver.

The fundraiser – which included a 10-kilometre run or five-km walk – brought in $630,000 for cancer research, prevention and treatment programs at BC Cancer Agency.

Having raised around $16,500, the Ovarian Cysters featuring the IncrediBALLS was named the No. 3 fundraising team.

“We just started out to do a bit of fundraising and have fun at the event, and it just snowballed,” team captain Casey said.

Casey assembled the group – which included her husband, Terry, and couples Denise and Brian MacDonald and Louise and Nevin Chernick – after raising $2,000 for last year’s event with daughter Taryn.

They participated in honour of Casey’s mother, Dayle, who is currently battling a second type of cancer below the waist.

When Taryn became employed by the Underwear Affair and was unable to participate this year, Casey decided to continue the Ovarian Cysters with others.

“I carried on and convinced one couple to join me and they convinced another couple, so it became a nice little event for us, brought us closer, and we all have relatives who are and have been battling various cancers below the waist.”

The IncrediBALLS was added to the team name on account of the three men who joined, she added.

The friends received an overwhelming response from supporters, and surpassed their fundraising goal by $4,000.

Dayle is “over the moon,” Casey said.

“It’s just a real kind of positive thing in her life, and I think it helps her feel like she’s doing something. She even contributed a little bit.

“She’s really excited about how well we did.”

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