Breast Cancer Awareness Walk raises $40K
More than 1,000 participated in the Georgetown Hospital System Women's Board Annual "In The Pink" Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Murrells Inlet.
Dr. Craig Brackett kicked off this “day of remembrance and celebration,” Saturday, Oct. 5. There was a vendor expo, pink bake sale, music entertainment by Paul Grimshaw and complimentary Shutterbooth photos at the Waccamaw Medical Park.
Proceeds from the walk benefit the Georgetown Hospital System's Indigent Breast Cancer Fund with 25 per cent of the monies raised going to the Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Affiliate.
Jessica Sasser, executive director, Georgetown Hospital System Women’s Board, said this eighth event was a happy day and a nice setting for a walk in Murrells Inlet.
“We are still counting proceeds, but we hope to reach or exceed last year’s total of $40,000."
“It’s really a good feeling for such a day even though there are memories of some who are lost to the disease. Walking with others can be a very healing experience. That’s when we’re out feeling the closeness between the survivors and their supporting families and friends.”
“Kitty Houston of Georgetown was there helping and representing our Women’s Board as its president,” Sasser said. “She is a cancer survivor who did not have insurance and who received patient care aid from our past fundraising efforts.”
Houston said she is involved because she decided to give back to the community by joining the Women’s Board. “Eventually I ended up as president, a position I am serving in for my second year,” she said. “We start planning for the Cancer Awareness Walk in June and July and it seems to get bigger and bigger each year.”
Cancer survivor Alessandra Finnochio, owner of Finnochio’s Italian Restaurant in Garden City, was the honorary grand marshall. Diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2012, Finnochio said she participated in the walk to help raise awareness and money for the cause.
Neely and Michael Shepheard of Myrtle Beach, mother and father of twins Allie and Brinley Shepheard, age 8 months, pushed the girls through the walk. The mother said this was her first time participating. “It certainly won't be my last,” she said. “The walk was fun, fabulous and for a great cause. I walked today with my family, because I am in fact a breast cancer survivor. At the age of 29 and while six months pregnant with Allie and Brinley, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.”
“I am on a mission to make women of all ages aware of the importance of performing self-breast exams on a regular basis. Never in a million years did I think I would be diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29."
Event organizers said breast cancer is a type of disease where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without normal control.
“It is a widespread and random disease, striking women and men of all ages and races. It is the most prevalent cancer in the world today with about 1.3 million people diagnosed annually. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, and at this time, there is no cure,” event sponsors said.
“With early detection through screening, improved treatment methods and increased access to breast health services, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before.”
The Komen Lowcountry Affiliate is an independent organization, supporting local education, screening and treatment programs, while also investing in national research initiatives.
Seventy-five percent of the money raised locally is re-invested in local projects and initiatives within the 17-county service area, including Georgetown, Horry, Florence, Williamsburg, Charleston, Marion, Beaufort, Bamberg, Colleton, Jasper, Barnwell, Dorchester, Orangeburg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Allendale and Hampton.
The remaining 25 percent of funds raised locally support the national Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award and Research Grant Programs, which in turn have funded some of the most significant breast cancer medical investigations of the last 25 years, the Komen organization said.
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