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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

10/01/2013 02:11PM ● Published by Enjoy Magazine

Since its inauguration in Redding four years ago, the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual fundraising walk has taken place in August, overshadowed by its wildly popular sister event, Relay For Life.

Saturday, Oct. 12, participants and sponsors will step out of that shadow together at Turtle Bay’s Sundial Bridge in Redding, as the event takes place for the first time during Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“The MSABC walk started in Boston and progressed throughout the U.S. as a staff-driven event in big cities,” says Matthew Foor, Distinguished Special Events Director with the California Division of the American Cancer Society. “About four years ago, ACS California decided to adapt it as a community event, utilizing all volunteer committees supervised by a staff member.”

Foor oversees committees in Redding, Chico and Marysville, part of a national campaign that since 1993 has attracted 8 million walkers who have raised more than $400 million, $65,000 of it from Shasta County since the 5K walk’s inception here in 2010.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer remains the number one public health concern facing women today. The Making Strides event exists not only to seed cutting-edge research and advocate for access to mammograms and treatment for all, but to provide free local education programs and support services.

Key to its message is that women over age 40 should get a yearly mammogram and that low- or no-cost screenings are available to the underinsured, underserved and low-income.

“Women who need assistance can contact Soroptimist International of Redding by going to its website and clicking on breast cancer awareness,” says Judi Rumsey, Survivor Chair of this year’s event.

Soroptimist has been helping women obtain mammograms for the past 15 years, and although men have yet to seek support from the organization, such services are available to them as well. The American Cancer Society estimates 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men this year and that slightly more than 400 will die from the disease.

The fundraising goal for this year’s event is $45,000. “We have a great need for volunteers to join our planning committee,” Foor says. “We can use help with set-up, course monitoring, welcoming people and cheerleading for the walkers and teams.”

As for Rumsey, breast cancer has touched her family profoundly. Her aunt, who was diagnosed in 1962 during Stage IV, lost her battle within three months. The following year, her mother was diagnosed but with successful treatment remained in remission for 35 years before succumbing in 2006 after a recurrence. Rumsey herself is a two-time cancer survivor who has been in remission for 18 years.

“Because of early intervention, we’re saving more and more lives,” she says. “Our cure rate has gone up tremendously. That’s what this walk is about. It provides information and gives people hope.”

Community members are invited to join event sponsors MD Imaging and North Valley Breast Clinic and media sponsors Results Radio, home of Q97’s Billy & Patrick, KRCR, KNVN, KHSL and FOX 20 to make more birthdays possible. •

www.makingstrideswalk.org/redding www.cancer.org Saturday, Oct. 12 Registration at 7:30 am, walk begins at 8:30 am Rain or shine

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