On Oct. 18, SCSU hosted the annual, ‘Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’ fundraising walk this weekend. This event gathered a wide variety of people including students, alumni, community members, and sponsors. Participants had the option to walk a one to three mile route in order to raise money for breast cancer research.
There was an estimated 200 people in attendance for the event, along with vendors and various student organizations that set up booths in the field house. Groups such as PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and Campus Recreation were there helping students get motivated for the event.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign that increases awareness of the disease. National public service organizations, medical associations and government agencies aid in raising awareness for the disease by wearing the color pink this month. Beyond the awareness, the campaign included tips and resources on early detection, prevention, mammogram services and more.
According to Breast Cancer Research Foundation, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common overall. It is said to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in less developed countries.
With those statistics come the need for more research and ultimately a cure.
The walk represents the fight against breast cancer in hopes to bring a lifetime of change to the victims and family members affected by breast cancer. The money raised helps the American Cancer Society fight the disease through research, information, and services. In addition, it raises awareness for what people can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer.
Beth Kowalczyk was diagnosed in 2008 with breast cancer and is now a survivor attending the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. She discussed her experience with participating in the event.
“I’ve done this for two years now. I go with my family, and each year it gets a little more pink. My sister also has cancer and was diagnosed with cancer as our father was dying of cancer. It was a really rough time for our family,” said Kowalcyzk.
Kowalczyk’s sister, Jeanne Kremers, is well known for writing the book, ‘The Chosen One,’ which is a memoir and inspiration for those battling cancer or has a loved one whom is diagnosed. It discusses the hardships that come with the disease.
“A difference I have seen over the years is that people are not afraid to wear pink. It’s definitely a great event to be part of,” Kowalczyk said.
Pink was not in short supply Saturday, as it was seen everywhere at SCSU, especially at Halenbeck Hall, where the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk began. This year’s featured “Honorary Warriors” (both of which are St. Cloud State alumni) was Margaret Vos and Mary Bruno.
As of 2:30 on Saturday, the preliminary tally of funds raised was $60,251.10 for the American Cancer Society research and programs. There were about 93 teams, with an estimated 724 participants in the event.