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Actor Eric McCormack – best known for his lead role in Will And Grace – was in his home province of Ontario recently to promote Canada’s largest funder of cancer research, the Canadian Cancer Society, and its annual Relay For Life overnight walkathon in June that aims to raise $50 million for research to eradicate cancer.

The relay is a unique fundraising event, and last year more than 200,000 people all across Canada walked, ran and strolled around tracks illuminated by nearly half a million luminary candles for 12 hours from dusk till dawn. It raised $47 million to be used for research on all types of cancers, support programs for cancer victims and families, and advocating for public policies that prevent cancer.

Even though he lost his mother to bladder cancer after beating breast cancer decades ago, and despite that his father has been fighting prostate cancer on and off for years, McCormack is convinced that cancer, like Polio, can be a thing of the past.

“Everyone has a cancer story,” says McCormack. “It’s way too common and I think it almost feels like it’s always going to be here. We have to think of cancer as something we can eliminate in our lifetime.”

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada. In its many forms, it will kill over 70,000 Canadians this year.

“My mom was of that generation that didn’t talk about things openly,” said McCormack. “We have to be that generation that fights it together. This is personal; not just for me – for everybody.”

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