For Susan G. Komen Charlotte, the goal isn’t to just fight breast cancer: It’s to cut it in half.
It’s a big, bold goal. More than 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among womenthis year in the U.S., and more than 2,400 cases in men. One in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
The nonprofit focuses on research and local community health grants to make the biggest impact. About 75 percent of net funds raised goes to local community health programs in a 13-county service area,while the remaining 25 percent funds breast cancer research. This year, the nonprofit announced $870,736 in new community grants as part of their goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.
With the approaching 22nd annual Race for the Cure on October 6 at a new South Mint Street location, that is good news for would-be participants and the people who support Komen Charlotte with their dollars. The event is more than just a race — it’s a major Charlotte event. It’s a celebration of hope and survival. For the thousands of walkers and runners in uptown each October, they are supporting their friends and family with one event.
“We are so excited about our new South Mint Street location in uptown Charlotte,” said Stamie Despo, Komen Charlotte Executive Director. “We see this as an opportunity to bring the community together with one mission in mind: end breast cancer.”
There are options for everyone. There is a 5K event and a one-mile walk/run. You can register as a team or as an individual. Survivors are honored at a special survivor breakfast and parade. There is a family fun zone and expo area with activities for everyone.
Race for the Cure is the anchor of fundraising for Komen Charlotte and helps provide critical services right here in the local community. Since 1997, nearly $17 million has been awarded to local community health programs, including2018 grants to Cabarrus Health Alliance, Care Ring, Carolinas Health Care System Project Lymphedema, Carolinas Health Care System North East, Carolinas Rehabilitation – Main, Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Inc., Mecklenburg County Health Department, Novant Health – Huntersville and Matthews Medical Centers and Novant Health – Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center Foundation.
In addition, Komen Charlotte has contributed over $6 million to Susan G. Komen’s Research Program. Komen has even funded multiple research grants taking place in North Carolina at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. The nonprofit also serves beyond Mecklenburg County in Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Montgomery, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly, Union, and York County, SC.
“I never thought I would be in a position to need free services, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had just lost my job and was uninsured,” said Bernadette Simpson, a local seven-year breast cancer survivor. “I didn’t even know where to turn. Luckily, a friend of mine who is a nurse told me about programs funded by Komen Charlotte. It was a lifesaver.”
Last year, Komen Charlotte grantees provided over 5,200 free mammograms and diagnostic services, distributed 6,400 education materials, served 342 lymphedema patients and diagnosed 90 individuals with breast cancer.
“Our goal is to ensure life-saving breast health and breast cancer services are available to everyone who needs them in our community, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Sarah Bailey, Director of Community Health. “We are confident these programs will not only provide quality care, but will help thousands of local individuals enter and progress through the breast health/breast cancer continuum of care.”
More information: Join the Race for the Cure on October 6 by registering here and selecting whether you are registering as a team captain, individual or joining a team. If you need breast health services, click here to contact Komen Charlotte.