Men and women woke up early to participate in the 18th Annual Susan G. Komen Tarrant County Race for the Cure starting at Sundance Square in Fort Worth.
“It’s exhilarating,” said supporter Richard Ware. “It’s neat to come down and see so many people supporting this disease and wanting to get a cure for it.”
“The least you can do is getting up early because they fought this battle so hard and many people have passed away from it,” said supporter Lauren Wheelock. “Just getting up early is not that bad.”
With more than 1.3 million men and women expected to be diagnosed around the world with breast cancer this year – 200 thousand right here in the U.S. – this is a fight being fought on multiple fronts with many starting right at home.
“Breast Cancer is a very important charity to me and our department,” said Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson. “We have many members who have family members who suffered from breast cancer so we are here to support Susan G. Komen. In fact I lost my wife to breast cancer about ten years ago so it’s an important critical mission.”
Crowson with the Arlington Fire Department isn’t the only one running in honor of someone he lost. Friends and family members wore shirts and held signs honoring those already taken by this disease or in celebration of those who have won their battle.
Barbara’s Bunch, a race team from First Presbyterian Church in Grapevine, came to honor their friend and parishioner Barbara Fawcett, who died this past year after a five and a half years courageous battle with the disease.
“If I were to describe Barbara in a few words it would be just absolute hope and spirit filled person who never let something like cancer bring her down, said Barbara’s Bunch member Roger Burks. “She always had a smile on her face and always was caring about others. I know Barb is with each one of us right now and she had been a big supporter of this and would be very proud to know we have continued on in her name and in her honor.”
“The memories for everyone who is walking for someone else is to honor their memories and of course to pray that this will not happen to another loved one,” said Barbara’s Bunch member Alison Wheelock.
Mrs. Texas, Kayla Wharton cheered on with her mother, a two-time breast cancer survivor.
“I just got really emotional because my mom is my mentor and I’m so happy for her to be here today and experience this,” said Mrs. Texas Kayla Wharton. Even though we’re not walking we’re being apart of this together and actually seeing all of these other survivors that are actually able to walk and that have beat this deadly disease.”
This day reminds cancer survivors Sue Szendry and Rubina Premjee, how essential early detection and family and friend support is to making it through.
“It was tough but the family support, friend support help,” said Rubina Premjee. “The day I was diagnosed I thought that’s the end and there’s no tomorrow but we made it.”
“It makes you realize that one in eight women will get breast cancer, said member of Barbara’s Bunch Sue Szendry. “I have no breast cancer in my family heritage so it’s very, very important for women to be very aware of their bodies, take care of their bodies, get your mammograms, check yourself on a monthly basis and to donate to Komen because that’s really how we’re going to find the cure is more research.”
With over 15,000 people cheering on and participating in this year’s race for the cure, 75 percent of that money stays here in Tarrant County.
“We’re going to hope that some of that money helps find a cure and hopefully I’ll have to never go through finding out another loved one gets breast cancer,” said Lauren Wheelock.
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