Students Support Race for the Cure Runners

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  • Michelle Davis ’20 encourages survivors at the finish line. Before the race, Davis decorated her face with pink paint and stickers to match the pink theme. “I feel like Race for the Cure is a really good symbol for not only breast cancer but feminism and empowerment,” Davis said.

  • Claire Pitre ’21 waves at the runners after being held up by the cheer members. SunDancers, Warrior Pride, and cheerleaders had attended the event. “It brings out the best in everyone because you can see all your friends and cheer together,” Pitre said.

  • A breast cancer survivor holds up her rose as she passes the finish line. Roses were handed out to the survivors at the finish line of the walk.

  • Sydney Ferris ’21 cheers on the participants.

  • Carolina Garza ’20 watches the runners at the start of the race. Every year, SunDancers are invited to cheer on the participants. “It was really nice to be in [the survivors’] presence and cheer them on as they walk for what they have struggled with,” Garza said.

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A medley of pink, heartfelt smiles, and encouraging cheers radiated from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K marathon at the Palmer Event Center on Sunday, Sept 29. This event is held annually in order to empower survivors, honor the lives that have been lost to this disease, and support funding for breast cancer research.

The SunDancers, Warrior Pride, and cheerleaders volunteered to cheer on race participants. Arriving at 7:15 a.m., they gathered near the starting line and waited for the race to begin while getting in the spirit to cheer. In addition, many breast cancer survivors, doctors, and research fund donors were honored on the stage and had the opportunity to tell their story and inspire more people to support this cause.

“My favorite part about the race is being able to see the faces of the people that had survived through cancer and seeing how thrilled and emotional they become when we cheer for them,” Srishti Kannan ‘21 said. 

Volunteers lined up on both sides of the finish line and cheered on the racers right as they crossed the finish line. For many, empowering the survivors was very meaningful to them because some of their close family members have been affected by similar diseases. 

“I think [this race is] really cool especially since people here, their moms or their neighbors have had breast cancer. My mom, she doesn’t have breast cancer, but she has leukemia, so it’s just really cool that people are so supportive,” Elizabeth Wolf ‘20 said. “I just really like cheering for people and supporting them, and I feel really empowered seeing the reactions of people’s faces that they reciprocate our feelings.”

The Race for the Cure walk has raised $268,367.88 out of their $400,000 goal so far. All of the money that is raised will be aimed toward researching new treatments and technologies, providing easier access to screening diagnosis and treatment, and educating the public about breast cancer. 

“I think [Race for the Cure has] a message that we can all get behind to raise money and support survivors who have lived and are living with breast cancer,” Assistant Warrior Pride Director Ms. Katie Gunderson said.

Many participants and volunteers wore pink accessories, tutus, and decorations to the race to show their support. Some dogs were also dressed up in pink attire and trotted across the finish line along with their companions. As soon as breast cancer survivors crossed the finish line, they left their mark on this event by tracing their handprint on a wall and signing their names. 

“It was really inspiring and uplifting to see so many people who are surviving and still positive despite everything that has happened,” Lily Sayre ‘21 said. “While [cheering] was really tiring, it was for a great cause so it was all worth it.”

It is estimated that 41,760 people will die due to breast cancer in 2019, and Susan G. Komen’s purpose it to try and reduce the number of breast cancer related deaths by 50% by 2026. To find out more information or donate money to this cause, visit Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.