Cancer, A Cause to Run for

breastcancermarathon.com

             breastcancermarathon.com

Every month in these United States we advocate, support and highlight a form of cancer and the strides we have made in the fight against it. This dreadful disease can take many forms and insinuates itself into almost every part of the human body; from breast cancer, which we highlight this month, along with liver cancer, to colon cancer and pancreatic cancer among others, we are made aware of the far-reaching effects of cancer as no one remains unaffected by it. For this and other reasons, running is an ideal platform to support the fight against it.

In the month of October most of the western world and organisations like The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Avon, Memorial Sloan Kettering  and others sponsor, support and/or organize walks and runs that highlight the great work: research, successes and stories of women around the globe living and battling breast cancer everyday. The goal is to bring awareness, increase knowledge and encourage early testing, diagnosis and treatment.

Running is all about utilizing good health to achieve great results. Since we need to be fully functional to do it, it makes sense to use this platform as a means by which cancer research and education can become part of mainstream discussion; particularly breast cancer for us women who are more susceptible to it.

Last weekend, there were walks, around the country and thousands of women came out in support of this worthy cause, raising the bar on the discussion and actively walking out their struggles with breast cancer in the company of family, friends, advocates and supporters. The good news is that many of us were actively involved and got out there as part of the movement. That’s a great start. The weekend before when I ran the Chicago marathon for St Jude in support of the work they do in the field of childhood cancer, I was gratified with all the support and cheers for St Jude. However, I see it in a wider context now, people are deeply affected by cancer and beginning to realize that unless we all unite in the fight against it, chances are very good that one of us may become its next victim.

In this vein, we should strive to become a part of the solution. As runners, what better way to do this than to get our family, friends and supporters behind us to run for a great cause. Cancer is that cause and there are a lot of running opportunities this month and going forward. Most races provide the option to run for or to donate to a favorite charity to run. Just sign up, fundraise or donate, then run – the easiest part. I promise the rewards last beyond the finish line.

pinkribbon

Running for Life in “Pink Month”

imageMany of us are aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers found in women (though men are not immune) and a leading cause of death in developing countries says David Foreman, head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, section on cancer information; in fact, in 2012 the World Health Organization stated that 14.1 million people worldwide developed cancer that year up from 12.7 million in 2008. And 1.7 million women were newly diagnosed with breast cancer, up by more than 8% from 2008; 522,000 died as a result, while the global death toll for all cancers were 8.2 million. The IARC projects that the number of global cases will jump to 19.3 million by 2025, increasing the stats on breast and every other type of cancer.

Cancer kills. Breast Cancer doesn’t have to. Running can help. One of the main ways in which we can help the fight against breast cancer is by getting involved. You can empower yourself through learning about this disease that affects millions every year and share what you know; mobile centers are being set up all over the country providing information and screening. In addition, there are many self-help options to assist you with carrying out your own breast self-examination ( videos on YouTube, flyers, brochures), which is a proactive approach to detect any early signs. And of course, you can run for the cause and donate towards research.

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Throughout October, all over the country, there are many runs, relays and walks to raise awareness about this disease. Running is one of your healthier options to give life to a cause that affects everyone in some way. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is one of the biggest events in October, which takes place in eight cities in the United States on different dates: Charlotte, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and here in New York City from October 18-19. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, is another big event this month; hosted by the American Cancer Society, this is one of the largest fundraising and awareness events in the nation where you can join the relay for life and find a community to run with. Yet another, is the Susan G Komen, Race for the Cure: a 5k-3 day event that invites you be a part of something big, meaningful and effective. These organizations share in essence a common goal: to eradicate breast cancer and empower survivors. The work and strides that have been made to this end is nothing short of amazing and reflects largely the huge impact Breast Cancer has had around the world. There may be variations on achieving their common objective but they all share, in some way, Susan G Komen’s organization methods of getting there; through research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives. The best news is that it’s all easily accessible: information, runs, care and support; it’s yours with the click of a mouse. The respective websites have tons of information on how to get involved in a city near you. So, while these three are among the more popular events running in October, for sure there are a lot more throughout the country and around the world, and include cycle rides, charity swims, skydives, walks, treks and charity challenges. Let’s not forget the marathons, half-marathons, 10ks and 5ks, each and every one an opportunity to support the cause; throw on something pink, buy your ribbon and make some strides.

” The opportunist sees opportunities everywhere.”

There is always an opportunity to make a difference. The time is now to take a stand and run with it. Will you.

St. Louis Run for a Cure 2011

St. Louis Run for a Cure 2011

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