Approximately 4,300 runners and walkers raised money Saturday morning to aid Susan G. Komen – Central Valley in its battle against breast cancer
Fresno, Calif.- The color pink was seen across the Fresno State campus Saturday morning as roughly 4,300 runners and walkers banded together to support the Susan G. Komen Central Valley affiliate in its annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, an event that aids the non-profit in its fight against breast cancer.
Pink shirts and accessories worn by breast cancer survivors were everywhere, and the crowds participated in different levels of walks and runs designed to accommodate everyone. The event involved guests that included Assemblymember Henry T. Perea and his father, Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Fresno State football Head Coach Tim DeRuyter announced their support of the Race for the Cure at a press conference earlier this week. Mims is a breast cancer survivor, and DeRuyter’s mother is also a survivor.
Sharon Johnson, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Central Valley, said events like the race have allowed Komen to invest $2.6 million into the community.
“Because of everyone here today, Komen can continue to fulfill its promise to empower people, ensure quality of care for all, and energize science for the cure,” Johnson said.
The finalists in the men’s and women’s 5K races were recognized at a ceremony following the races, both of which were U.S. Track and Field certified. Male breast cancer survivor Harold Kelly was presented with this year’s Honorary Team New Balance Award, and Honorary Race Chair and Race Director Ken Takeuchi was also recognized for his contributions to Komen Central Valley events. Also during the ceremony, breast cancer survivors paraded across the stage, all holding a single pink rose.
“This is your day, and this is your moment right now,” said event MC Stefani Booroojian of KSEE 24.
Following the women’s race, first-time runner Rosalva De La Cruz of Fresno said she ran for her aunt, who is a breast cancer survivor.
“We’re getting more aware of cancer,” she said. “It’s very important; a lot of people are affected by it.”
Colleen Souza of Fresno was part of a team put together by the Souza Group RE/MAX Gold.
“I lost an aunt to breast cancer years ago, and one of my best friends has been battling breast cancer all this year,” she said. “I have a number of friends who are survivors, and we just wanted to make a difference. Do something that was significant, and give other people a chance to do the same thing.”
75% of the money raised from the event will benefit community programs that focus on breast health education and treatment in Fresno County, along with breast cancer research. 25% of the proceeds are used for national breast cancer research.
Some of the ways Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Central Valley aids the community include offering free mammograms, lymphedema treatments, financial assistance to breast cancer survivors, culturally diverse education programs, and diagnostic studies.
Associate Editor James Olinger can be reached concerning this article at James@BusinessStreetOnline.com