Participant Spotlight: Karissa Milbury

Wednesday, January 24th

Karissa Milbury is ready to say goodbye to wine, beer and whisky next month.

A PhD candidate at the BC Cancer Research Centre, the geneticist works with yeast DNA on a daily basis.

In February, her and her fellow lab members will be taking on the BC Cancer Foundation's Lose the Booze™, a month-long alcohol-free challenge in support of life-saving cancer research at BC Cancer.

Their team, The Yeast Wranglers, is ready to trade their wine for water and pints for pop.

Teamwork is the key to success, as Karissa says taking on the challenge last year as a team meant being able to wallow with others when temptations arose and the challenge wasn’t so easy.

"Participating as a team kept us committed to our goals and we could commiserate with each other when we wanted that one glass of wine," she said. "It was fun to laugh and whine with each other and there was always a ready group of people who were up for doing something fun (and dry) together."

With one year already under her belt, she's armed with tips and tricks to make it through the challenge this year.

"Being prepared is so important – it helps to look ahead and identify upcoming occasions when you may want a drink," she said. "If you plan for it ahead of time, you will be better able to resist temptation."

While participants are saying adios to alcohol, they will also be fundraising to support cancer research and enhancements to patient care taking place at BC Cancer.

With one in two British Columbians being diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the importance of fundraising is not lost on Karissa.

"Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, so it's crucial to support the fantastic research taking place at BC Cancer," she said. "Every day I see brilliant and determined people working long hours to improve the lives of cancer patients – fundraising ensures this world-class research continues."