Our charity efforts for the month of October went towards a particular team in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Providence on October 16th. The event is part of a national fundraising effort for the American Cancer Society. The staff raised $200 and the agency matched it for a total of $400 towards this worthwhile cause.
Breast cancer affects many people’s lives, including a member of our staff. Elizabeth Pita is a breast cancer survivor who walked with family and friends under the team name “Elizabeth’s Entourage.” They were one of 15,000 participants bearing pink ribbons who raised $550,000 in Providence this year.
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk began in 1984 in Massachusetts. Another cancer survivor, Margery Gould Rath, wanted to find a way to celebrate so she began what was to become a nationwide tradition.
The first event included 200 participants. Today, over 8 million people walk in almost 300 communities across the nation and they’ve raised more than $750 million to fight breast cancer.
Anyone can participate in a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and sponsorship comes in many forms. Passionate individuals commit to raising funds, and dedicated corporate and community sponsors rally for the cause, too. Teams are often a mix of friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. Teams from the business community such as our own “Elizabeth’s Entourage” also play a vital role.
Funds raise awareness for early detection and promote prevention. This is extremely important as women have a 1 in 8 chance of having invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. They also provide access to mammograms as well as vital information, such as breast cancer screening guidelines and recent research and treatment breakthroughs.
The money raised from these walks also supports patients during recovery with services such as transportation to and from treatment and related medical appointments when patients need it. Funds also support a network of lodges for patients and caregivers, for treatment away from home. Other services include self-image programs, counseling for patients, families and friends, and a network for survivors.
Of course, much of the money also goes towards breast cancer research and past donations have led to the development of potentially lifesaving breast cancer drugs and identifying genetic markers. They currently fund 185 research and training grants in multiple disciplines. The American Cancer Society’s non-profit, nonpartisan affiliate also works with the government to advocate legislative change.
Making Strides provides the funds needed to obliterate cancer and every step in every walk brings them closer to their goal. The walks are incredible events, because they inspire those who are battling breast cancer and honor survivors and loved ones lost, too.
These non-competitive events rely on volunteers, team members, and friends and family to support them. People can donate to a team member, the team, or a local event.
Cancer rates are steadily dropping and today over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors exist in the United States. However, the battle is far from over, even if this particular walk is. You can help to maintain the momentum by donating here.