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NYC gears up for the 21st annual breast cancer walk in Central Park

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 10/21/2011, 10:53 a.m.
Along with thousands other, the Amsterdam News team is getting ready for the 21st annual...
NYC gears up for the 21st annual breast cancer walk in Central Park

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NYC gears up for the 21st annual breast cancer walk in Central Park

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NYC gears up for the 21st annual breast cancer walk in Central Park

Along with thousands other, the Amsterdam News team is getting ready for the 21st annual Susan G. Komen Greater New York City Race for the Cure. Sunday, Sept. 18 is the date when, once again, up to 25,000 breast cancer survivors (this writer included) and their families, friends and supporters from all over the tristate area will take to the trails of Central Park.

Dr, Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of Komen Greater NYC and a breast cancer survivor, is challenging participants and their folks to try to raise a minimum of $250 to support the vital work of Komen Greater NYC. This year's race introduces a new Pledge Prize Program, in which anyone who raises at least $250 will be eligible to choose their own reward from an average of 10 pledge prizes per level.

"Despite the amazing progress that has been made over the years in breast health and awareness, the startling statistics that every three minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer and every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer are unfortunately still true," said Richardson-Heron. "Race for the Cure and events like it help to raise tens of millions of dollars to shift the balance and change this statistic. We are committed to doing everything we can until we have truly run breast cancer out of town!"

The 21st annual Komen Greater New York City Race for the Cure will begin at 9 a.m. in Central Park. Celebrities scheduled to appear at this year's race include the women of CBS2, including Kristine Johnson and Dana Tyler, news anchor Maurice DuBois and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz.

The event is the premier fundraiser for Komen Greater NYC, raising millions each year to support crucial breast health services for uninsured and underinsured New Yorkers. This year's goal is to raise $6 million to provide grants for local breast health education, screening and treatment programs, local clinical trials enrollment and national breast cancer research for the cure.

Race participants will walk or run the 5k (3.1 mile) course through Central Park, starting at the American Museum of Natural History and ending at the bandshell adjacent to Bethesda Terrace. The race also includes a special shortened course for the disabled, elderly, cancer survivors undergoing treatment and others who cannot finish the complete route.

"We distributed $4.8 million in grants to local New York City organizations earlier this summer," said Richardson-Heron. "Reaching our $6 million fundraising goal will allow us to fund more grants to community-based organizations providing education and outreach, screening coordination, treatment and support services to vulnerable New Yorkers. Every dollar raised plays a critical role in the fight against breast cancer."

The Education Expo located west of the bandshell will include representatives from more than 20 breast health organizations funded by Komen Greater NYC, who will hand out materials and talk with race participants about breast health. Komen Greater NYC's 2010 Grantee of the Year, Project Renewal, will be providing free mammograms in the ScanVan, a mobile mammography unit, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Appointments are preferred and can be made by calling (800) 564-6868.

The race will begin with the first starting gun at 9:20 a.m. for elite female and survivor runners, followed by male and female runners at 9:25 a.m. and walkers at 9:30 a.m. The last group will be led up Central Park West by over a dozen pink-clad women on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Survivors and their family and friends will be among the host of runners, walkers, meanderers and saunterers at Central Park, but there's more to the day, including the Survivor Race T-Shirt Fashion Show and a flash mob of regular folk celebrating survivorship.

Those interested in participating can still contact www.komen.org. The event is all about support, inspiration and bringing awareness to millions. It is a hug felt around the world, as the words, images, emotion and hope are sent globally by every communication medium possible.

For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call (877) GO-KOMEN.