By Jules Shane
Balboa Park was awash in a sea of pink on Nov. 4 as more than 9,000 people came to support the cause of ending breast cancer.
The 22nd annual Susan G. Komen San Diego Race for the Cure (KSDRC) brought the park along Sixth Avenue to life in the early morning, where hundreds of tents assembled alongside a full-sized stage. Venders offered samples and refreshments, local health care providers shared success stories, and sponsors handed out pink keepsakes to participants. At 7:30 a.m., the opening ceremony commenced with survivors and KSDRC organization members taking the stage to share their stories and honor those in San Diego and around the world who are fighting breast cancer.
President and CEO of Komen San Diego, Shaina Gross, commemorated the success of previous years’ races and rallied participants of this year’s to continue to help fund and support breast cancer awareness and treatment. As of this year, it is predicted that roughly 12 percent of women in America will develop some form of invasive breast cancer throughout her life, about 1 in 8 odds. Komen San Diego has a local board of directors that determine what programs to fund with the money raised from the event.
“That’s what’s important about this race is that 75 percent of all the funds that are raised stay here in San Diego to help provide services and support for women and their families,” said incoming board chair Merrilee Neal, noting that the remaining “25 percent goes to international research.” Funds go on to offer complimentary health services such as mammograms, biopsies, and MRIs to local residents who might otherwise be unable to access them. Additionally, Komen San Diego provides free cancer treatments including surgery and chemotherapy for those who cannot afford their often-debilitating costs.
This year’s race raised more than $800,000 to be put towards the organization’s mission of helping those in need navigate the arduous process of beating breast cancer. The Komen San Diego 3-Day further expanded these funds on Nov. 16–18 as people walked 60 miles over the course of three days to raise awareness about breast cancer and in support of being the generation to discover a cure for the disease. With hundreds of participants, this event raised more than $6.3 million, bringing a total to date of $126.3 million raised.
Thousands of people gathered at Balboa Park for the 22nd annual Susan G. Komen San Diego Race for the Cure on Nov. 4. (Photo by Jules Shane)
“We cannot thank our amazing 3-Day family enough for their time and dedication to this cause,” said Carrie Stovall, Susan G. Komen senior director of events, in a press release. “Every step they take and every dollar they raise gets us closer to the day when we can finally say goodbye to breast cancer forever. Their passion is inspiring.”
Participants trained and fundraised in preparation for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The event fosters lifelong friendships and memories, while providing the community a moving opportunity to honor those who have battled and for those who continue to fight breast cancer. Participants spent the weekend walking through San Diego communities and camping in pink tents each night. The event, which began early Friday morning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, concluded with a moving closing ceremony at Waterfront Park.
For more information, please visit The3Day.org.
—Jules Shane is the editorial intern at San Diego Community News Network, parent company of San Diego Uptown News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.