08/24/2013 04:00 EDT | Updated 10/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Annual women's cancers walk raises $3.1M

About 1,500 walkers are participating in Montreal's Weekend to End Women’s Cancers this year.

The annual event takes place in Toronto and Montreal. It remembers those lost to breast or gynecologic cancer, and celebrates the lives of the people who are fighting to survive.

As the walk got underway on Saturday, participants in Montreal had raised more than $3.1 million for cancer prevention.

This was the fifth year in a row that Virginia Champoux participated. She calls herself a ‘future cancer survivor.'

She first got involved when her mother was diagnosed. Champoux kept walking in her mother’s memory after she died, but this year she has another reason to march.

'It's happening to someone you know'

In January, Champoux received her own diagnosis.

She is halfway through her treatments for breast cancer, and Champoux says she plans to “kick cancer’s ass.”

"This is the only way to do this — full-on fighting hard and walking…they keep offering me rides to the next pit stop and I don't intend on sitting down. I'm going to walk all the way to the end," she said on Saturday.

Champoux says now she walks in the hope that the disease will be cured before it can touch her daughters.

“Maybe it’s not happening to you, but it’s happening to someone you know…Everybody knows somebody,” she says.

The money raised by the Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers will go towards the Jewish General Hospital’s Segal Cancer Centre.