Race for Time

In Buzz, May 2016 by Alexandra DrosuLeave a Comment

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The information presented in this article is current as of press time.

Local services and breast cancer research benefit greatly from Race for the Cure

Three years after her younger sister died from breast cancer, Rosie Leach received more dreaded news. She too was diagnosed with breast cancer. Leach was told she had triple negative, a rarer more aggressive form of breast cancer. She immediately started on a grueling treatment of six rounds of chemotherapy and 38 days of radiation.

“When you’re going through chemo, it can become some of your darkest days. During this time hope is a gift you give yourself,” says Leach. “The Komen Foundation helps to give me that hope.”

Leach has been supporting the Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Foundation since the late 90s when her sister was first diagnosed, and in 2012, she started her own Race for the Cure team. In four years, she has raised almost $30,000.

“Raising money for the foundation made me feel like I was doing something to help others,” says Leach. “Cancer has been a blessing to me, it’s helped me to slow down and focus on the important things in life.”

She also appreciates that the organization is community minded with 75 percent of the net funds from Race for the Cure invested in serving North Carolina families, while the remaining 25 percent funds the Komen National Research Grants program to support breast cancer research that will one day lead to a cure. Significant money from the research grant program has found its way back to the Triangle area. This year Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill received $3.8 million in research grants from the foundation. And, with almost 240,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2015 alone, according to the American Cancer Society, finding a cure is critical.

“The 75 percent that stays [locally] funds breast health education, screening, treatment and support programs for the uninsured and underinsured living in the Komen NCTC service area,” says Julie McQueen, Director of Community Health at the Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast.

The foundation pays for a wide array of medical services and treatments including screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and MRI, biopsies, radiation and chemotherapy. Additional funds are allocated to help with non-medical needs such as compression garments, support groups and angel funds that assist women undergoing treatment with utilities, rent and transportation.

Last year, the Triangle area Race for the Cure raised $960,000 and this year, on June 11th, they hope to reach $1,000,000. More than 850 survivors, like Leach, participate in the race, and about 10,000 people run in it. But for many the race is more than just a fundraiser. It’s an opportunity to celebrate life for all survivors while also paying tribute to those who have lost their battle with the disease.

For more information or to participate in Race for the Cure, visit www.komennctc.org 

By the Numbers:

75% of money raised serves NC

$3.8M research grants awarded to Duke and UNC Chapel Hill

231,840 new breast cancer cases in 2015

$960,000 amount raised last year during Race for the Cure

175 people benefit from Komen supported diagnostic testing every day

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