October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and since 1993, millions of passionate participants have joined forces to take steps against breast cancer in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual 3- to 5-mile walks each year.
The noncompetitive annual walks held across the country every October provide a powerful and inspiring opportunity for communities to come together to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about reducing the risk of getting breast cancer, and fundraise for the American Cancer Society.
“The atmosphere is almost like a party with music, balloons and especially those who come dressed up in silly costumes,” says Survivor and Walk Participant Harriet Sheinberg, of Newbury Park. “It says we have been touched by breast cancer, but we are first and foremost individuals who celebrate life.”
While “almost everyone has been affected by breast cancer in some way,” notes the American Cancer Society online, taking action by donating to a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event makes a difference in so many ways, from funding research to simply providing a hand to hold. Monies raised from the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks help the American Cancer Society fund research, provide education and guidance, and offer comprehensive patient support to those who need it most so that no one facing breast cancer ever has to walk alone.
“Thanks to the dedication of passionate individuals, there is no limit to the impact we can make when we unite together,” says Susan Petre, vice president of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “The money raised by our Making Strides fundraisers will fund innovative breast cancer research, provide free information and support, and help people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable.”
There’s still time to sign up for this month’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk taking place Oct. 7 at the Civic Center Plaza Park in Thousand Oaks. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the Walk starts at 9 a.m. Hundreds of participants are expected to come together, with the goal to raise $43,500.
The Opening Ceremony kicks off the event at 8:30 a.m., uniting survivors, caregivers, and people from all walks of life who are passionate about saving lives from breast cancer.
“When the survivors go on stage announcing the number of years they are cancer-free, it gives hope that there’s life after cancer,” notes Sheinberg.
“This is my opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and help raise funds for groundbreaking research as well as information and services for people fighting breast cancer,” shares Breast Cancer Survivor and Making Strides Team Leader CVL Publisher Robin Chesler.
As hundreds of participants walk together, united in the cause, the emphasis is on unity, and not competition. The event is not a race, and walkers are encouraged to stop whenever they want or need to. After the walk, participants celebrate with local entertainment, water and shared success.
“Each year as I participate as a sponsor of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Susan G Komen, I meet and hear so many families with courageous stories,” says Kim Pagano, of Westlake Village. “What warms my heart the most is to see the families that gather together to support with strength and wisdom when a crisis arrives. I pray that no one ever feels alone.”
To join the Making Strides of Thousand Oaks walk or for more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 800.227.2345 or visit Cancer.org.