In 2014, it is estimated that 40,000 individuals will lose their battle with breast cancer. Others will fight their battle and win—but not without enduring immense struggle and pain. Those affected will span all ages, ethnicities and income levels. This disease does not care if you are a parent, child, sibling or friend. It does not even discriminate based upon gender. There are ways to reduce your personal risk factors, but there are many undetermined causes of cause breast cancer. This means it is currently impossible to prevent it. The chances are very high that you or someone you love will be affected in some way. Before that happens, we must stand together as a community to save the lives of those we love.
On April 12th, we ask you to join Susan G. Komen and Bella at the Race for the Cure in Roanoke. Joey Beck, race chair for the Susan G. Komen foundation, encourages participants to take pride in their contributions. “I think the biggest misconception is that we are just another event,” she says, “Unlike some events in our area, money contributed to this race will stay local. Seventy-five percent of funds stay in our area. The other 25 percent goes to national scientific research. That is why I got involved with Komen. There is only a matter of time before myself or someone I love is diagnosed, and I know they will be there.”
This race is for both serious runners and those who would rather walk with their families. Participants who wish to race the 5K can request to be officially timed, and it will take place on a US track and field certified course. However, this race is not about finishing first. It’s about showing up, walking courageously, and giving your support to those who need it most. You might be surprised how many people, in our area alone, are facing this illness.
Beck explains, “Breast cancer is becoming an epidemic. Nationally, one in eight women will be diagnosed this year. In our region, that number climbs to one in five. Our region also has a higher mortality rate. Women know something is wrong, and they wait too long to get checked out. By the time they do, it is too late. What many of them do not realize is this is no longer an ‘old lady’s disease.’ The number of young people who are facing breast cancer is climbing every year. I know of teenagers that have been diagnosed. ”
A few hours on a Saturday morning and a small contribution to this race can help change course of this disease. Ladies, bring your husbands and children along! This event will be fun for the whole family. Participants will receive a Race for the Cure t-shirt, but you are encouraged to rock the color pink in any form: from tank tops and shorts to tutus and pink hair. This is our time to shine for those who are battling breast cancer, those who have survived it, and those who lost their battle. So find your best tennis shoes, collect your pink accessories, and go to www.komenvablueridge.org to register for the race. We’ll see you there!
Written by Hayleigh Worgan