WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) – The rain didn’t stop 1,000 runners and walkers from coming together to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Fairfield County on Saturday. About 1,000 more people were there to cheer them on at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the world’s largest breast cancer fundraiser. News 8’s Renee Chmiel is a breast cancer survivor, and she was this year’s Honorary Chair.
— Renee Chmiel (@ReneeChmiel) May 7, 2016
For many participants, this race was personal. Sandy Buhrmaster-Jelinski came all the way from Oregon; she wants to walk in every state that has events like this one.
“I know my cancer might come back again and so I’m out here to prove that I’m going to be as stubborn as I can and fight cancer,” she said.
Seventy-five percent of the money raised will go toward that fight right here in Connecticut. The other quarter will fund research. Organizers say that money is needed, especially here.
“Connecticut is the state with the highest incidence of breast cancer in the whole country,” said Lori Van Dam, CEO, Susan G. Komen Southern New England. “About 3,000 women and some men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the state this year.”
— StVincents MedCenter (@StVincentsMC) May 7, 2016
That’s why so many people get involved. Participants say that just about everyone knows somebody who has been touched by the disease.
“My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer for the WWE and the race’s Grand Marshal. “I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed that I’ve known since I was ten years old.”
The Race didn’t just raise money, it also raised awareness. Participants learned more about breast cancer and could check out a mobile mammography van. And survivors learned something too – that they are never alone in their fight against breast cancer.
“I’m really amazed at all the support, especially in Connecticut, for all our breast cancer survivors,” said Debbie Russell, a survivor.
Susan G. Komen will be having another race on June 4 in Hartford.