It is because of these relationships, both new and old, that we are celebrating 15 years in the Tri-Cities region.
Volunteer Stacy Barton started with her Girl Scout troop in 2014 to honor their late troop founder, Juliet Gordon Low. Stacy and her girls, along with some parents, have helped out with the water stop at the finish line and this last year in our breakfast tent. Stacy herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Stacy looks forward to walking with her troop at the race this year as both a volunteer and survivor!
Community partner Shiloh Baptist Church has been involved for the past 14 years. Its group has participated on every level. Linda Calvert and her husband are pastors at the church, and they believe in emphasizing good all-around health and women’s health issues.
Linda stated, “The race has provided an opportunity to increase awareness — we always have our own awareness program at the church — to raise money to support a good cause, and to celebrate survivors while honoring those who have succumbed to breast cancer.”
Co-survivor Rebecca Hall and her family have participated in the race for two years. Rebecca’s mother lost her battle with breast cancer in 1986. The family, with 15-20 members from throughout Tennessee, joins the race to support each other in their fight against breast cancer and to honor Rebecca’s late mother. She has two sisters who have been diagnosed in the past several years. The family’s favorite thing about the race is the way it positively brings the family, friends, and community together to show on a grand scale support for women bravely fighting breast cancer.
“Participating in this event, born from a sister’s love, allows our family a way to get involved and support our sisters as well as helping raise funds for this worthy cause,” Rebecca said.
Survivor Valerie Como has been involved in the race since 2008. Since she is a survivor, the race has meant a lot to her, because every year she gets stronger and is able to fight that much more. Valerie reflected on her favorite part of the race stating, “My favorite time is when they recognize all the survivors and we let our pink balloon fly far away into the clouds.” Valerie will continue to fight and her advice for anyone battling any type of cancer is to be strong and fight.
Corporate partner Food City has been involved with Komen since the beginning. Lori Hamilton, director of healthy initiatives, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., stated, “Food City is a local, family-owned company that is very dedicated to being a part of our communities and giving back. The Race for a Cure increases awareness and raises money for breast cancer from early detection, treatments and support, research as well as honors those who have had/have breast cancer.” She says that her favorite part of the race is seeing the community come together and described the camaraderie as a “huge pink hug given to all.”
The 2020 Tri-Cities Race for the Cure will be held Saturday, April 18. If you would like to help make a difference as a participant or volunteer or by making a donation, visit wwwKomenEastTN.org/TriRFTC or call (423) 765.9313. Remember, if you can’t make it out on race day and still want to help, register and fundraise as a Sleep in for the Cure/Virtual participant. We’re saving lives together!