An (Underwear) Affair to remember

If it’s never happened to you, it’s difficult to imagine the pain of losing someone you’ve loved for decades to a terrible and insidious disease like cancer.

And, after a blow like that, who could blame someone if they decided to just throw in the towel and spend the rest of their days feeling cheated by life?

But that’s not what Langley’s  Giordano family decided to do.

Far from it.

After his “wife and best friend” Shauna, 50, died of colon cancer earlier this year, Mike Giordano and his three children decided to do what they could to perhaps help prevent someone else from one day suffering the same awful blow.

They formed a team, named it Nana’s Bananas and got set to run in the July 9 Underwear Affair.  

The annual Vancouver fundraiser, held last weekend in support of the B.C. Cancer Foundation, encourages participants to ‘dress down,’ so to speak, and take to the streets in their skivvies to help fight cancers below the waist.

After completing the 5k walk or 10k run participants are invited to attend the EXPOsed after party, complete with dancing, drinks and crazy costume contests.

That’s a whole lot of fun in the name of a very serious cause. Maybe that’s what drew the Giordano family.

More likely, however, is that they were just doing what their wife and mother would have expected of them.

Throughout her life, Shauna, it is reported, was a tireless volunteer and fundraiser for cancer research even before she was diagnosed.  

She died just five days after  her daughter Natalie’s 25th birthday. 

Despite her condition, she still organized presents and personally wrapped them for her daughter’s birthday — another testament to her giving nature.

Certainly, it’s human nature to gravitate toward the causes which have most closely affected our own lives, but there’s nothing saying we have to wait until tragedy strikes before we hit the streets in our own metaphorical underpants.

There are as many ways to help as there are ways that people need help. 

So whether it’s simply grasping a wad of cash for a worthy cause, or at the end of an arm with the sleeve rolled up to donate a unit of blood, there’s no shortage of good reasons to extend a hand to someone whose life has been touched by tragedy.


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