Black Pittsburghers support Race for the Cure

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A sea of pink covered Schenley Park on Mother’s Day for the Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure.

Of more than 30,000 people who converged in Pittsburgh on Sunday, about 3,000 were breast cancer survivors. Everyone participated with a mission of eradicating breast cancer through education, screening, research and treatment.

The Pittsburgh event—one of the biggest Komen races in the country—raises millions to save lives. The Mother’s Day event, a 5K (3.1 miles) run/walk and a 1-mile fast walk, has raised millions of dollars to date in the Pittsburgh market to support national breast cancer research.

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TEAM TRACEY—From all over the city Team “Tracey” walked for Tracey Feagins, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Tracey, in pink, is in the middle of the group.

The event raises money for research and treatment, in addition to raising education and awareness. “One in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime with breast cancer.

In Pennsylvania, on an average day, 33 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and in the country, we always say almost every three minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, every 13 minutes, a woman will lose her life to breast cancer,” said Kathy Purcell, executive director of Komen’s Pittsburgh chapter.

LPGA golfer Brittany Lincicome, whose grandmother died of breast cancer, is starting something new for breast cancer patients who have to do painful chemotherapy.

“The Veins for Life is a new sponsor of mine this year. It’s the ports so they don’t have to stick the patients with needles as much, so it’s less pain for the patients,” Lincicome said.

“My daughter, when she was five, when was walking with me years ago, she said, ‘What’s this all about?’ And, I said, ‘This is something that I hope that you tell your children that, one day, you walked with your father to raise money for the cure of something they used to call breast cancer,’” said Jim Rohr, president and CEO of PNC Financial, a sponsor of the race.

Breast cancer doesn’t just affect women. Every year, about 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Of the money raised, 75 percent remains in the local market to provide mammograms and follow-up diagnostic services to medically underserved women through the Mammogram Voucher Program.

Since the program began in 1993, more than 24,000 vouchers have been distributed and 150 cancers have been diagnosed. Last year, more than 35,000 participants took part in the race.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded by Nancy Brinker in memory of her sister, Suzy, who died of breast cancer at the age of 36.

Of the local net proceeds, 25 percent goes back to the Foundation and funds breast cancer research projects. To date, the foundation has raised in excess of $300 million.

This year, the race will be run in 113 cities with more than 1 million participants.

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