5,000 steps to end prostate cancer

“Trust me. It’s hard work.”

It’s one of the first things Shahroz Ehsan will tell you about the Step Up Challenge, where teams race up 5,000 steps in downtown office towers, raising awareness and funds to overcome the most common cancer among Canadian men.

How do you prepare for a sprint up some of Canada’s tallest skyscrapers? “Lots of leg presses, squats and cardio. And most of all, the mental preparation with regards to creating awareness and reaching out to as many people as possible,” says Shahroz. His team of colleagues at EllisDon are hard workers, holding prep sessions to be sure they’re ready to race - and to fundraise.
Shahroz Ehsan (top left), Peter Coleridge, President & CEO, Prostate Cancer Canada (bottom left)
and Team EllisDon Toronto
Shahroz and his team reach out to EllisDon’s employees at many sites across the country as well as their colleagues at the head office. “Social media also plays a big part in fundraising,” says Shahroz. “I get my best buddies to donate online. My family is also particularly supportive because it’s a cause that’s close to our hearts.”

A disease that affects many

Shahroz knows all too well the importance of raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer. Both his grandfathers had the disease. That’s his motivation.

“It’s a great event and I think a good idea to participate and create awareness,” says Shahroz, who’s been taking part since 2014. “There’s sort of an uneasiness associated with prostate cancer because of what people think the test is. This is such a huge event to create awareness.”

“The meaningful part for me is reaching out to people and telling them the statistics,” says Shahroz. “One in seven men are affected, which is quite high. When people ask me why I’m doing this, I tell them the benefits of seeing their doctor, donating for research and supporting people affected.”

“At the end of the day, the target is to educate Canadians about the disease and to go see their doctors. It’s a very noble initiative.”

Making a bigger impact

Geoff Smith, President and
CEO, EllisDon
Shahroz’s team raises funds, and then EllisDon matches fundraising for all their teams participating in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.

“Geoff Smith, EllisDon’s CEO, is very hands-on with fundraising,” says Shahroz. “He encourages people to support our team and takes time out of his schedule to help us raise funds. When the event gets closer, he gives one last push, with the motivation that he’ll match up to a certain amount of whatever we raise.”

Propelling ourselves forward

Not only do Shahroz and his team climb some of the highest towers in the country, they’re climbing 49 flights of stairs that EllisDon employees constructed. “It’s good that we’re raising funds in a building that my colleagues built. It’s kind of like we’re propelling ourselves forward – we built the building and now we’re walking up it for a good cause,” he says.
 
Team EllisDon

“I love waking up the morning of Step Up. It feels like I’ve done something useful and it’s always good to have that feeling.”

Join Shahroz and the EllisDon team: Register for Step Up Challenge in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton or Toronto now.
Posted: 2019-02-01 1:15:44 PM


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