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‘More Than Pink Walk’ raises funds to fight breast cancer – and more – Orange County Register


NEWPORT BEACH – In a crowd of pink-clad survivors, Karen Ardis and Karen Rowley tearfully embraced.

When they met on Sunday, the women realized they had a lot more in common than a first name.

Both are 21-year breast cancer survivors. Both live in Orange. Both were diagnosed at age 45.

The Karens connected at the Susan G. Komen More than Pink Walk, which brought out some 10,000 people for the event formerly called Race for the Cure.

The event was rebranded this year to be more inclusive, organizers said.


“We moved it down to a walk so we can all do it as one group,” said Megan Klink, CEO of Komen OC, adding that runners still were welcome. The Komen foundation continues to provide support for breast cancer research, local community programs, public policy advocacy and patient care, she said.

The event kicked off with a survivors parade and opening ceremony before the thousands of walkers, including 600 survivors, took to the streets at Fashion Island.

At the finish line, three women hugged. They were brought together four years ago while undergoing five weeks of radiation treatments at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.

Anita Smith, 65, Nanci Hill, 63, and Cindi Murillo, 50, said they share a bond that will never be broken. They continue to get together with relatives for happy hours and special occasions.

“We blended our families,” Hill said.

The event took in $786,000 as of Sunday afternoon. The goal is $1.2 million by the end of October and breast cancer awareness month.

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