Why I Participate in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure Breast Cancer Walk

I am walking in memory of Margaret Kelly (my husband Colm’s mother), Elizabeth “Lilly” Crangle (Colm’s aunt) and Jackie Kelly McCann (Colm’s sister) three wonderful people whose lives were cut short by Breast Cancer. And I am walking for my five daughters in hopes that a cure will be found very soon.

This event isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t believe 100% that it was worth every muscle ache and injury (tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, pinched nerve, oodles of blisters), weary nights in a little pink tent (too hot, high “are we going to wake up in Oz?” winds, pouring rain and way too cold—all over a two-night span!) and other interesting experiences that would be considered TMI to share here!

Check out my slideshow from the 2009 Washington DC 3-Day walk here.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day™ is a 60-mile walk for women and men who want to make a personal difference in the fight to end breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised by the Komen 3-Day help support national research and large public health outreach programs. The remaining 25 percent supports local community and Affiliate outreach programs.

  • Thanks to the women and men who participated in the 2011 3-Day® Series (14 events nationwide), the event raised more than $82 million.
  • Since its inception in 2003, the 3-Day has raised nearly $700 million.

Your Dollars at Work

Since 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has invested nearly $2 billion in its mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Susan G. Komen reaches millions of people every year with life-saving breast health information. Last year alone, the organization:

  • Funded more than 700,000 breast screenings for low-income women.
  • Provided financial and social support for more than 100,000 women, men and families battling breast cancer.

The Outcome

Virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 30 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant. Susan G. Komen is the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research. The results are stunning:

  • Breast cancer death rates in the U.S. have dropped by 33 percent since 1990.
  • Five-year survival rates for early stage cancers now average 99 percent (versus 74
  • percent when Komen started in 1982).
  • Cutting-edge research is bringing personalized medicine to the bedside; early
  • screening and education programs are helping to detect more breast cancers earlier.
  • Community health programs of Komen and its Affiliates focus on addressing the
  • special needs of low-income and uninsured women, along with minority and special
  • populations such as young women, men, and lesbian women facing breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Facts

In 2013, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be [38]:

  • 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer (This includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors.)
  • 64,640 new cases of in situ breast cancer (This includes ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), of those, about 85 percent will be DCIS. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer and LCIS is a condition that increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. Learn more about DCIS and LCIS.)
  • 39,620 breast cancer deaths

Rates of breast cancer over time  

From the 1940s until the 1980s, the rate of new cases of breast cancer (called incidence) in the U.S. increased by a little over one percent each year. In the 1980s, incidence rose greatly (likely due to increased mammography screening), and then leveled off during the 1990s.

The incidence of breast cancer declined in the early 2000s [38]. Although mammography screening rates fell somewhat over this same time period, studies show these changes were not likely related to the decline in breast cancer rates [40-41]. The decline appears to be related to the drop in use of menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use) that occurred after the Women’s Health Initiative study showed its use increased the risk of breast cancer and heart disease [38,40-42].

Since 2005, the incidence of breast cancer has remained stable [38].

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is estimated that more than 1.6 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide in 2010 (most recent data available) [43].

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.5 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

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