Feast for the Fight: Toronto

We all have to eat, but sometimes dinner isn’t just food; it is also banding together, building awareness, and joining in the fight against cancer. If you live in the Toronto area, treat yourself to a night out on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, and support Feast for the Fight in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. In what has got to be the tastiest fundraiser in the city, all you have to do is visit a participating restaurant on Wednesday, tell them that you’re dining in support of Feast for the Fight, and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Cancer Society.  Yes, it is that easy.

Here is a little tidbit from the Feast for the Fight website about why they support the Canadian Cancer Society.

Funds raised through Feast for the Fight support the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of Canadians living with cancer. By dining out on October 19 and supporting Society events, your money will help to:

  • Fund research on all types of cancer
  • Offer comprehensive and credible information on cancer, risk reduction and treatment
  • Provide support for people living with cancer
  • Advocate for healthy public policies

I don’t need to convince you about why the fight against cancer is an important cause.  I don’t need to remind you that 2 in 5 Canadians will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, because 487 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every day, and every day we lose 205 of them to the disease.**  What I do need to do is tell you a story. No, this is not the kind of story about the crushing pain of losing a loved one, or a personal struggle against the disease.  My story is a lesson on how to scare the crap out of 500 listless students on a Monday morning.

On my first day of Virology class, a few hundred bored, insufferable, or otherwise gormless young twenty-somethings shuffled into seats within the atrium and balconies of Convocation Hall.  After a good 10 minutes of restless twitching from the stands, the Professor, with great effort, pulled himself up onto the stage with the help of an aluminum cane.  The man was so old that I half expected him to launch into a lecture on bloodletting and the importance of balancing the body’s humors. I slunk down lower in my chair.  He rapped his cane briskly on the ground for about 20 seconds until there was finally some semblance of silence in the room.  And then he waited.  And waited. After an almost interminable silence, he steadied himself against a chair and pointed his cane at the crowd, taking us all in with a broad, sweeping gesture, a flash of aluminum to indicate that we were all culpable for some unknown offense.

He cleared his throat.

He cleared his throat again, and said, “You all have tumors.”

Yes he did, he said that.

“You have all had tumors growing inside of you from the time that you were about 8 years old.  As a child, the first tumors were growing inside you but you would never have known.  TUMORS! They won’t all grown to be cancer, but some of them will. Many of them will.  You?  All of you?  YOU WILL ALL DIE OF CANCER, unless something else gets to you first.”

And then I think he started to talk about Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease or something. I’m not entirely certain.  I was too busy looking with horror at my breasts, patting my abdomen, trying in vain to identify where my tumors were growing and which one of them would kill me first.

The most profound learning that I took from a four year degree is that we are all going to have cancer.  For some of us it will be sooner rather than later, it might be fast and aggressive or slow growing and benign. But we’re all going to have to fight cancer at some point, unless something else gets us first.  And I don’t know about you, but when my time comes, I want to be ready and swinging.

In the mean time, lets keep doing what we’re doing; giving generously to the charities and agencies that do great work, vocally supporting values that we hold dear, and participating in community events that raise awareness. If there happens to be a great meal thrown in there as part of the bargain, well, I can hardly find fault in that.

If you live in the Toronto area and you want to participate in Feast for the Fight, simply make a reservation at any one of the 25 participating restaurants on Wednesday October 19, 2011 and tell them that you want to join in the fight against cancer, because donating can be delicious.

** Statistics provided by the Canadian Cancer Society.

  • George

    You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. We showed our support at Wildfire on Wednesday and I hope this event was a success all over the city.

  • Hamish Robertson

    This is a great blog. Total congratulations. And this piece resonates especially with moi who is a 60 odds year old lung cancer survivor with chronic pain working at starting a blog who spends the rest of his time cooking for foreign students (myself and my wife are ‘home stay parents’) from a pretty slender knowledge base. Loved the daal recipe (my wife has just gone vegan and is successfully both controlling her weight and reversing her diabetes, where I am unapolgetically carnivore, and so are many of the students, provided the meat in question ain’t pork.)

    So, thanks again!!

    H.