Susan G. Komen-Memphis is an organization that has worked within the community to raise breast cancer awareness. They have begun adding new components to the annual Race for the Cure event. Alongside former Tiger football star DeAngelo Williams, the organization finds the Memphis community integral in fighting breast cancer.

The Race for the Cure will take place in downtown Memphis on Oct. 26. It is the 27th race to be held in Memphis, and the fifth to be held downtown.

Elaine Hare, CEO of Susan G. Komen-Memphis, said that this year’s race will be bigger and better than ever.

“This year, we’ll see a lot more of Beale Street, almost all of Beale Street,” Hare said. “Our breast cancer survivors who participate in the race get flowers at the finish line.”

Hare also said that DeAngelo Williams, former University of Memphis running back, will be in attendance. Those who donate $38 or more will receive an autographed t-shirt from Williams, whose “Williams Warriors” team will once again fight for the funding of breast cancer research.

While the event will bring excitement to the Memphis area, it is important to know where the donations go and why Memphis is so crucial in the fight against breast cancer.

“Memphis is one of the 11 areas with a high death rate from breast cancer in African American women,” Hare said. “This disease effects everybody, because African American women make up 52% of Memphis’s population.”

According to Susan G. Komen, one woman loses her to life to breast cancer every thirteen minutes in the United States.

One out of every eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. However, the percentage is greater in African American women than caucasian women in Memphis according to Hare.

This statistic ignited the efforts of “Know Your Girls” campaign by Susan G. Komen, which launched last winter. The purpose was to educate African American women in Memphis of the dangers of breast cancer, and how to maintain healthy breasts to prevent the disease.

“We are unique because we find local healthcare for breast cancer,” Hare said. “75% of our funding stays in our community, while the other 25% goes to research.”

So far, Susan G. Komen has raised $11.3 million to provide healthcare to Memphis-area women. Race for the Cure, the largest event held by the organization, should boost that number significantly as event donations currently sit at $207,000.

Another organization, American Cancer Society, will also make an appearance in Memphis this month. There will be a meeting on Oct. 3 in the UC to discuss “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” at 5 p.m.

Research, local healthcare and awareness all play roles in the fight against breast cancer. Susan G. Komen is primarily funded by donations, which can be made through their website and at Race for the Cure on Oct. 26.

“There will be a big expo at AutoZone Park,” Hare said. “DeAngelo Williams will be there; how about that for some Memphis excitement, huh?”

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