For the 31st year, the University of Manitoba is participating in Shinerama – an initiative to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
Cystic fibrosis is a chronic illness affecting multiple systems of the body, targeting the respiratory and digestive systems primarily. Individuals with cystic fibrosis have a defective gene that causes the fluids of the body – such as sweat, mucous, and digestive juices – to become thick and viscous, blocking passageways in the lungs, sinuses, and digestive system.
There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis, and most treatment plans are aimed at keeping passageways clear, particularly in the lungs, in order to prolong wellbeing of the individual with cystic fibrosis. Most individuals with cystic fibrosis struggle with infections in the lungs, which eventually becomes fatal in the majority of sufferers.
That’s where Cystic Fibrosis Canada comes in. Cystic Fibrosis Canada is a national charitable non-profit organization aimed at improving the lives of individuals living with the disease, with the eventual goal of finding a cure. To date, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has invested more than $226 million in research and care for cystic fibrosis patients since their establishment in 1960.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada established Shinerama in 1964, looking to harness university students’ passion and motivation to help raise money for the charity. Eight schools in southern Ontario participated in Shinerama the first year. Now, more than 50 post-secondary institutions across Canada have gotten behind the movement. Since its conception in 1964, the initiative has raised over $26 million for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
“The reason why I would tell anyone to donate to this charity specifically, because every charity is deserving, is that Cystic Fibrosis Canada do such a good job with the money that they have. For every single year that Shinerama has been around – so since 1964 – the life expectancy of a sufferer of cystic fibrosis has increased by 11 months, which is incredible,” said Brayden Dueck, co-chair of the University of Manitoba Shinerama campaign.
“The impact that the money has is amazing. The life expectancy in Canada when Shinerama [and Cystic Fibrosis Canada] started was around 5, and now it’s about about 50 years. The progress that’s been made is absolutely incredible.”
The idea is simple: Shinerama volunteers shine shoes, flip burgers, wash cars, and do anything else it takes to raise money for the charity. This year, to help reach their lofty goal, the U of M Shinerama chapter has some more tricks up their sleeve.
“We’ve added a few events for over the summer. We do a lot of secondary fundraisers on top of the actual Shine Day in September. We’re doing a baseball tournament, we’re doing a social in August, we’re doing a soccer tournament, and we’re selling glow sticks at bars. We also go out to Super Spike and Summer of Sound to pick up beer cans.”
Dueck couldn’t say enough positive things about Shinerama and getting involved with the campaign. Even though he knows students are busy, he urges everyone to make the time to help out and give back to the community.
“We are quite privileged just because of the fact that we are in university,” Dueck said.
“Being able to bring about a change to a community because I can help and have the opportunity to help is why I think it’s so important to get involved.”
Shine Day is Sept. 16 at various locations around Winnipeg. For more information on the cause, how to get involved, details on upcoming secondary events, and how to donate, visit www.shineumanitoba.ca