Although the number of cases of breast cancer has been decreasing since 2000, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer in their lifetime. Perhaps more surprisingly, an estimated 2,670 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in men, according to statistics found on BreastCancer.org.
October 1985 marked the first U.S. campaign to bring awareness to breast cancer. It was a weeklong event designed to bring widespread attention to early detection and diagnosis. In the 34 years since, that week has grown into a month-long campaign, with thousands of events happening across the country.
Phoenix is getting pinker by the day as it makes its way through October. Local events range from charity dinners, 5K walks, poker runs and runway shows. October is not just for goblins and ghosts anymore. Pink ribbons can be seen just about everywhere.
Local resident Gloria “G” Nunez has been raising money for research for 16 years. To date, she has raised close to $60,000. A dear friend of hers who was diagnosed with breast cancer once asked her, “Why do you do this every year, G?”
Her answer was simply, “For you.”
The money was not raised with backing from large sponsors or corporations. It was done as a result of G’s own sweat and tears; and some help from her friends. For the past few years all the money G has raised goes to Virginia C. Piper Cancer Center.
G has combined her love of motorcycles with the cause to hold annual poker runs. In recent years she has extended the invitation to those who are not so comfortable on two wheels and has added a party bus for participants. For more: visit the 16th Annual Save the Chesticles Facebook page.
Like G, who keeps her funds local, Pink Out 5K is another event that benefits cancer patients in Phoenix. The proceeds from this event go to the local nonprofit “Don’t be a Chump! Check for a Lump!” which was started by cancer survivor Holly Rose.
With the help of this 5K and donations throughout the year, the organization provides free mammograms, assists with free wigs and provides information and education for women with breast cancer. This year’s walk is on October 5.
Runners who register online can enter promotion code ARCADIA for a 25% discount on registration (until October 4). For more: checkforalump.org.
The American Cancer Society’s walk is called Making Strides of Phoenix. This event raises money to fund not only research to battle this disease, but also supports both men and women battling cancer. The American Cancer Society is an invaluable resource of information for patients across the country. This year’s walk is being held October 26. For more: acsevents.org.
As the pink boas, wigs and sashes fly off the shelves this month, humor is the name of the game and brings some much-needed buoyancy to such a heavy topic.
Grab a boa, lace up those tennis shoes, sit down and hold on for a poker run or simply turn on the computer to donate online. It is only through tireless research and awareness that an end to this disease can be found.
PINK OUT 5K
When: Saturday, October 5, 8 a.m.
Where: Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road
Register at checkforalump.org