65,000 participate in breast cancer march
Early Sunday a flood of white doves rose above a sea of pink hats outside the Pepsi Center in Denver. Each hat denotes a breast cancer survivor or patient. At the nation’s largest Race for the Cure event, the sea of hats is overwhelming.
After the Survivor Procession, anchors from 9News looked out on a crowd of walkers and runners whose mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, grandmothers and friends have been touched by breast cancer. They announced that this year’s Race for the Cure raised almost $3 million for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
More than 65,000 participants lined up in Confluence Park early this morning to walk and run for the search for a cure to breast cancer – the nation’s most common cancer among women, according to the American Cancer Society.
The Race is “important because my mom had (breast cancer), and I want to support my mom and all her friends and everyone I know who has had breast cancer,” said Allana Winsted, a junior integrative physiology major walking in her sixth race. “The best part was looking behind me and in front of me over the bridge and seeing thousands of people in a never-ending line walking in support of everyone who has breast cancer.”
Winsted is part of just one of the many teams from CU that participated in the race. A general university team, CU 4 The Cure, was open to all students, and most sororities, fraternities and student groups sponsored teams as well.
At the race, the CU teams set up CU Balloons in the Pepsi Center parking lot as a gathering place for students.
The university will sponsor Think Pink! events throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Earlier this week, at the Kickoff Reception in the UMC, employees from the Boulder Community Hospital taught attendees about self breast exams and mammography, and UMC Catering provided pink treats.
Throughout the month, the West Portico of Norlin Library and light tower in the ATLAS Building will illuminate the campus in pink light.
Other events include a plate-decorating party to honor or memorialize someone with breast cancer on Oct. 12, a plate display in Norlin Library Oct. 16 through 31 and a visit from the Komen On the Go Pink Trailer on Oct. 17.
For people who could not make it to the race but still want to support the cause, registration is still available for Sleep in for the Cure. Participants register online and make a donation then receive a Race for the Cure T-shirt.
“What we’ve done is started a challenge in the community,” said Marney Duckworth, this year’s Mrs. Colorado. “We’ve made it really easy for folks. If you go to MrsColorado.com and click on Queen’s Journal, it will give you all the information you need.”
Participants can register individually or as a team of 10 or more at RacefortheCure.com. Registration will be open for a week following the Race.
“It’s such a great cause, and I actually have a personal connection – two of my aunts are actually breast cancer survivors,” Duckworth said. “It’s something very real in my life, and I know for a lot of people it’s very real for their lives.”
Companies around the country have realized the marketability of the cause and are getting in on Passionately Pink for the Cure – another Komen program that encourages businesses, schools and organizations to make a difference by supporting breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.
Mars Inc. sells pink and white M&Ms during October and November. Yoplait encourages customers to Save (pink) Lids to Save Lives. SHAPE Magazine has a Pilates for Pink program, and Ford Motor Company supports Warriors in Pink. Melissa Ethridge’s song “I Run for Life” has become an anthem for the Race.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1982 by Nancy Brinkman, Susan Komen’s sister. The first Race for the Cure was held in 1983 in Dallas, Texas, with 800 participants. In 2006, over one million participants will race in 110 cities and three countries.