Heading toward the tents from the parking lot early Sunday morning at Race for the Cure, Eugene, the mood was tangible. People stood near their cars pulling on pink tutus and tying pink bandanas around their dogs. At 9:00 am on Sunday, March 4th, the 5k fun run began. It was followed shortly thereafter by a 5k walk and a 1 mile family walk. Before the race started, people ducked under race village tents to learn about the sponsors, volunteers, and enjoy tea, water bottles, and backpacks for their race supplies. The Good Feet Store was proud to support the radio station KMGE’s team “Mix Chix” and be a part of the community-based event. According to local TV station KEZI, hundreds of people came to show their support.
The time before the race was also a time to reminisce and remember the real reason why so many people support Race for the Cure. As the start time of the race drew near, the announcer noticed “little patches of blue sky,” a welcome sight. Last year’s event was snowy and cold.
Teri, Celia, and Suzy, of the “Mix Chix” team took a moment before the official moment of silence to remember their friend Elaine, who battled cancer for 17 years. The women met growing up in LA and were in school together. When they grew up, they spread out into different states but stayed in touch. Now they come together each year to remember Elaine. Each one wore a pin with their friend’s smiling face and a pink ribbon, so that she could be along for the event too. Even though the tone of the day was hopeful and positive, there was a serious side to it too. Raising awareness may be fun, but it is also emotional work.
1 in 7 women in Oregon and SW Washington will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, states the Susan G Komen organization. But hope increases by the day.
“Since 1981, the 5-year relative survival rate, when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and confined to the breast, was about 74%.Today, it is 99%. The death rate has declined by 38%.” That means we as individuals can really make a difference by bringing even more awareness to the problem and by participating in programs like RFTC.