Susan G. Komen celebrates 15th anniversary of racing against cancer

By Rolando Rodriguez, Reporter

Susan G. Komen Central Texas is celebrating their 15th anniversary with a special race for the cure event to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer at 8 a.m. Saturday at Heritage Square in downtown.

Aside from the returning 5k, 10k and one-mile runs, Komen is celebrating 15 years of hosting the race with the new 15k run.

“This is our 15th year hosting this event,” said Kim Hoffericter, race co-chair. “We are trying to have it bigger and better, and we’re hoping that we’ll have more survivors come because we do a big celebration with our survivors and recognize them.”

One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer and every minute someone in the world dies from breast cancer, According to Komen’s website. 35 years ago, the five-year survival rate for women that were diagnosed with an early stage of breast was about 74 percent, but now that number has reached 99 percent.

“I think breast cancer affects us greatly that we all know someone and we all have been touched by it in some way,” Hoffericter said.

Susan G. Komen began in 1982 when Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan that she would change the way people looked and talked about breast cancer. Their goal was to make sure people could survive and to ensure that everyone still had a chance.

Destiny DeLillo, the race co-chair, stated that until recently, cancer patients faced treatments such as double mastectomies and treatment on the entire body, which would cause women to become infertile, cause damage to the ovaries and alter their hormones.

“We have come a long way,” DeLillo said. “Now treatment has advanced so much that they can do treatment directly in one area. We have people that are being given a five-year survival rate that are living fifteen years. That’s how far we’ve come.”

DeLillo first felt the intensity of breast cancer in her second year participating in the race for the cure.

“I just had my first kid, and there were three kids huddled around a microphone about to shoot off the gun [to start the race] because they had just lost their mom to breast cancer,” said DeLillo. “That absolutely broke my heart knowing that women my age were dying and these kids were going to grow up without their mother.”

For Hoffericter, she has had many family members and friends diagnosed with breast cancer.

“My grandmother is a survivor, and I have many friends my age that are in their thirties and forties that have been diagnosed,” said Hoffericter. “Some are survivors, but some are not.”

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, aside from the U.S. government, is the organization that is raising the most funds towards research for cancer.

“75 percent of the net proceeds that we earn stay here in central Texas for women to have access to screening mammograms, clinical breast exams, diagnostic services and other necessary screenings,” DeLillo said. “The other 25 percent goes to breast cancer research.”

DeLillo stated that even though 25 percent may seem like a small contribution compared to other affiliates, it helps guarantee there is treatment and advancements that are happening on a local level.