Supporting Breast Cancer Research Through #SBITeamStepChallenge

Written by: Maryann Kelly
Written on: Thursday, 22 October, 2020

October is always a busy month in SBI. In addition to all the buzz of early-term activities and new people coming into the lab, it is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As an SFI-funded research centre, SBI supports cancer fundraising and awareness campaigns whenever possible, and breast cancer is the central focus of several groups in our building.

In years’ past, SBI has collaborated on events such as UCD Breast Health Day and “Cups Against Breast Cancer” in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Last year, we raised over €850 in our bake sale and raffle, together with the Conway Institute.

SBI took part in UCD Breast Health Day in 2017

For 2020, however, SBI has taken a different approach in keeping with the government regulations surrounding the COVID-19 restrictions. This year, we are doing a team challenge – SBI 200,000 Steps for 2020! We are aiming to reach this number (or above), collectively, through walking, jogging and cycling (the last of which is allowed through the use of a handy online converter) over the course of one week. The team is comprised of 17 SBI students, researchers, staff and family members, plus one or two faithful canines. The challenge is being done from the safety of each person’s home neighbourhood to enable social distancing, but it has been a fun and healthy way to stay connected and raise awareness over virtual platforms. Our team members are in counties Dublin, Meath, Louth, and Cavan, and one in Germany!

Here are a few of our "SBI 200,000 Steps for 2020" Team Members as they head out for some exercise.

The idea for our activity came from the Irish Cancer Society website, which suggested doing virtual coffee mornings or team challenges this year in lieu of in-person fundraisers. From there, we launched the fundraiser on with a goal of €500 and are keeping track of our steps as a team on the Pacer app. The challenge is running from Monday, October 29 – Sunday, October 25. We will announce our total step count and the final amount raised via social media this coming Monday, so stay tuned!

If you would like to donate, please check out our JustGiving page and don’t forget to like and share our posts on Twitter, Instagram and individual Facebook pages.