By Lindsey Miner
The battle against breast cancer will enlist runners, activists, donors and multipurpose volunteers in a charity event.
The 2012 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Heritage Square in downtown Waco.
Registration will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by a survivor breakfast and ceremony.
Tawny’s SexyFit Crew will lead participants in a warm-up after the ceremony. The one-mile race will begin at 8:30 a.m. directly after the warm-up, and the 5K will start at 9 a.m.
Participants of all ages are welcome to run or walk.
Individuals can register in person, by mail, online at www.komencentraltexas.org or at the registration tent on the day of the race.
“Susan G. Komen for the Cure” strives to raise money and educate people in the ongoing battle against breast cancer each year through global events and legislative actions,” according to the Susan G. Komen website.
“My senior year [in high school], we did the walk for my best friend’s mom who was diagnosed,” Waco senior Brianna Deaton said. “This meant the world to her. We did this twice and made shirts and bandanas and were called Anna’s Warriors. While we were running, she rode beside all of us in a golf cart. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. She was so full of joy and gratitude.”
Entry prices vary by the type of participant, package and when the individual or team signs up.
“It’s a really motivating atmosphere to see everybody pretty in their pink,” April Pullen, this year’s event chair, said. “All ages, sizes and races come together for one thing and it’s for a cure for breast cancer.”
Participants can attend the race as an individual or as a team of at least ten people.
Different bags of race shirts and other free materials will be provided to survivors, individual racers, team participants, youth participants, kids and those who choose to “Sleep in for the Cure.”
Sleep in for the Cure is meant for individuals who can not participate in the race and instead can donate money and “sleep in.”
“You can feel the camaraderie in the air from these big teams coming together for people they know and love who have been affected by breast cancer,” Pullen said.
Pullen said there will be activities provided to appeal to a variety of people.
“It’s so welcoming because anyone can go. This year we are going to have different areas to target different groups,” Pullen said. There will also be a “man cave: featuring big screen TVs for the comfort of the participants’ male supporters.
Emmalie Cunningham, a certified lactation counselor and instructor of health at Baylor, said women can also significantly reduce their risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding longer.
“It’s great to have college students getting involved with this event because it can increase prevention efforts by putting it on their radar. They learn more about it at an earlier age,” Cunningham said.
Deaton said the race can be enlightening for women.
“I think it is important for women, especially young college women to see the impact the race has on those who are fighting or have survived,” Deaton said.
According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website, Komen wanted to think of a way to make life better for fellow women battling breast cancer.
Komen’s sister, Nancy G. Brinker, promised her she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.
Although Komen lost her battle with cancer in 1980, her legacy lives on through the organization her sister established in her honor, Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Since 1982, the organization has worked to transform how breast cancer is treated and thought of in society.
Its vision is to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has invested more than $1.9 billion into cure efforts since its founding in 1982.
Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer that affects women in the United States.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides mammograms, which is the most effective screening tool to detect breast cancer.
Around 70 percent of women 40 and older receive regular mammograms and, since 1990, there has been a 33 percent decline in breast cancer mortality in the U.S. because of early detection and effective treatment.
In 1980, the five-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer was around 74 percent, while today it has increased to 99 percent.
The federal government allocates more than $850 million each year to breast cancer research, treatment and prevention. In 1982, that number was $30 million. There are currently about 3 million breast cancer survivors.
This is the largest group of cancer survivors in U.S. history.