Warriors in Stride at the Race for the Cure

by | Jan 22, 2016 | Life, Local, Upcoming

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since the first race took place in West Palm Beach. This year marks the 25th Annual Susan G. Komen South Florida Race for the Cure®.

On Saturday, January 30th, downtown West Palm Beach will become a sea of pink as the valiant survivors, fighters and supporters run for awareness toward a cure for cancer. The pink color was selected to represent breast cancer awareness in the fall of 1991. Initially supporters wore pink ribbons to offer acknowledge women who’ve experienced breast cancer. As the color became synonymous with breast cancer awareness, the wardrobes of participants evolved into the distinguished signature color.

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    While wearing pink is optional, cancer does not discriminate. Research is finding that most women age 50 and older make up the majority of breast cancer cases, but it also affects younger women. Since 2014, science is finding 11% of all new cases in the United States are with women younger than 45 years of age.

Regardless of age, no one  expects to get this disease and its imperative to strive for a cure. Approximately 12.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with female breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. In 2015, there was an estimated 231,000 new cases of breast cancer reported, (National Cancer Institute) continuing to make this  illness a challenge to overcome.

Faced with difficulties of undergoing treatments, it comes with immense strain on the health and emotions of both those with the disease, and loved ones. Many must continue working to provide for their families and most try to live a normal life during treatments. However, this is not always the case as many suffer in silence, as they become estranged from those who provide comfort during difficult times.

Warriors in Pink.

“Warriors in Pink” was established in 2007 and  consists of eight breast cancer survivors.  “Warriors in Pink” remind, inspire and provide courage to those affected by this disease. The group encourages women to know survival is plausible.

One of those warriors, Ashley Kepchar reminds us that life is a truly amazing journey that we should all appreciate and never take for granted.

“I am excited to be able to share my story in hopes of inspiring others to live a positive, gracious, and grateful life. In a time that most would assume the be the worst of my life, my heart felt the most full it ever has, because cancer taught me to give thanks for every moment I am blessed enough to be here on this beautiful earth.” Says Kepchar.

The importance of funding.

The majority of funding for programs comes from the race. Money from ‘Race for the Cure’ go towards grants. These grants help fund support groups, medical needs, and helps patients pay bills when they may not have the means to do so.  “Seventy-Five percent of the funds raised by Komen stays in our service area, and this year, we will use our updated Community Profile Report to help guide our breast health education and services,” said Dayve Gabbard.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure website is a thorough guide to understanding what breast cancer is, who’s at risk, what research tells us, and how to get support.

The 5K race takes place on January 30, 2016 in downtown West Palm Beach. Walkers and children of all ages are welcome. Details can be found on their website.

For more information, call 561-514-3020 or visit www.komensouthflorida.org.

References:
Breast Cancer in Young Women. (2014, May 8). Retrieved January 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/young_women/index.htm

National Cancer Institute. SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Female Breast Cancer
Retrieved January 19, 2016, from http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

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