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Kate Armstrong walks in Toronto on Tuesday. Ms. Armstrong is helping raise $250,000 this year.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

The Donors: Kate Armstrong and Women In Mining

The Gift: Raising $500,000 and climbing

The Cause: Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto

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When Kate Armstrong's sister, Patti Zaidlin, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, she rushed back from Britain to be by her sibling's side.

"I came back in the hope that just being here and helping and being supportive, we'd all get through it together," Ms. Armstrong recalled from her home in Toronto. "Sadly, she had a very aggressive kind of cancer and passed away very quickly."

A few months later Ms. Armstrong heard about a new fundraising event called the Weekend to End Women's Cancers, a two-day, 60-kilometre walk through Toronto in aid of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Ms. Armstrong and her mother, 79 at the time, decided to take part in memory of Patti. "And I've been walking every year since," she said.

A few years ago, Ms. Armstrong, who has had a long career in the mining world as an investor relations consultant, began walking in the event with a team from Women in Mining, a group that mentors women in the industry.

So far, the team has raised nearly $500,000 in total from the annual walk, but the group has set the bar much higher for this year's walk, which takes place on Sept. 6 and Sept. 7.

"We decided to just bring it out of the box and do $250,000 this year, so our cumulative total will be $750,000," she said. "We are now going out and making this an industry challenge."

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More important for Ms. Armstrong, she'll still be walking for her sister and everyone touched by cancer.

"The walk is one of the most amazing things," she said. "It is truly inspiring, uplifting and motivating and giving hope to so many women."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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