More than 2,200 people came out last Saturday, April 14, to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a global organization which seeks to raise money and provide support for those diagnosed or otherwise affected by breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure is an annual program that raises money for research and breast cancer prevention programs all across southwestern Virginia. Races, like the one this Saturday, are held all over the globe and Roanoke’s own Race for the Cure was able to raise over two hundred thousand dollars to benefit those afflicted by breast cancer.
Survivors wore special pink caps and shirts, while the runners wore white with pink ribbons. At the start of the Race at promptly 9 am, the runners took off under a giant pink archway. Less than twenty minutes later, the first competitive runner crossed the finish line and retired to a grove a trees strewn in pink ribbons for those lost to breast cancer, but not forgotten.
“It’s important to have that support when you’re going through the treatment and it’s important to have their support at events like this,” said Blake Seitz, Co-Chair of the local race committee.
In addition to the monetary support, many of the pink clad racers were men and children. This showing was of great encouragement to many organizers, who were pleased to see the show of support for the many women and survivors who were also in the Race.
As Melissa Woodson, the Executive Director for Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Virginia Affiliate, said in her opening remarks for the race, “The major factors in having a greater risk of breast cancer are being a woman and growing older.”
Though most of those affected by breast cancer are women, it is possible for men to be diagnosed with it as well. Over the past several years and through the efforts of organizations like Susan G. Komen working in tandem with health care providers, the mortality rate of those diagnosed with breast cancer has been in a steady decline. The best hope for anyone diagnosed of breast cancer is early detection.
The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a change in the look or feel of the breast. It is important for women of any age to be aware of the warning signs and check themselves regularly. Those with more questions about breast cancer or those wanting more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s efforts to eradicate breast cancer should log on to http://www.komenvablueridge.org/