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July 19, 2013

Making Strides toward a cure

Annual ACS fundraisers planning August kickoff rally

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

MACOMB COUNTY — The American Cancer Society reports that, in 2011, approximately 7,890 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in Michigan alone.

In addition, one of every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer turned to the ACS for help and support.

In turn, the ACS, not solely dependent on donations to keep programs going, are supported and are able to make new strides with assistance from individuals and programs like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

The ACS’ Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Macomb County will be held Oct. 19 in Clinton Township, but a kickoff rally to launch fundraising efforts for the walk is coming up quickly.

On Aug. 22, event volunteers and participants will gather to learn what they can do to help this now annual fall event and hear from those with breast cancer and how the ACS has assisted them and their families.

The kickoff rally will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. with registration starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Macomb Intermediate School District facility at 44001 Garfield in Clinton Township. Registration before the event is not required, but participants are asked to RSVP by calling (248) 663-3509.

Adrian Benedict, American Cancer Society community staff partner, said during the kickoff, breast cancer survivors and community members in Macomb County will unite to share their stories and celebrate the ACS’ annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

She said the dollars raised at the event fund groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat and cure breast cancer; ensure access to mammograms for women who need them; and provide free resources and support, including transportation and lodging during treatment.

“The progress we’re making because of Making Strides supporters is nothing short of remarkable,” said Benedict. “But now is not the time to rest. We have a lot of work to do to eliminate this disease. Finding a cure for breast cancer begins with those who participate in the walk and raise money for the cause.”

Since 1993, 8 million walkers have raised more than $460 million through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. In 2011, one million walkers across the country collected $60 million to save lives from breast cancer.

This year, on Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. in Mount Clemens, residents will unite once again to honor and celebrate those impacted by breast cancer and raise money to save lives.

Benedict said the October Making Strides walk will be the fourth annual fall event. She said last year, nearly 1,000 individuals and teams showed up in the downtown area to participate, and  they eventually helped raise $63,000.

“It was an amazing success,” she said. “This year’s goal is to raise $70,800.”

Benedict calls Making Strides an inspiring event that honors breast cancer survivors, raises awareness about the disease and helps save lives.

She said individuals and the teams that participate in the walk, which will take place through downtown Mount Clemens, host various efforts such as online fundraising or donation drives and individual fundraisers prior to the event.

ACS invests more in breast cancer research than in any other cancer type and has played a role in nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough in recent history, according to their web site. For instance, society-funded research has led to the discovery of lifesaving breast cancer treatments, including Tamoxifen and Herceptin.

Additionally, Benedict said the money raised through Making Strides allows the ACS the ability to ensure that all women have access to mammograms and treatments — regardless of income — and makes it possible to provide free programs and services that improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

Mary Tworkowski, a rally organizer and a participant in the Making Strides walk in Macomb County, said the rally connects people with similar passions: fighting and finding a cure for breast cancer. “Everyone there has some connection to breast cancer; either they have breast cancer or they have a friend or a family member with breast cancer,” she said. “They’re passionate about the (Making Strides) cause.”

For more information about Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Macomb County, call (248) 663-3509 or go to www.cancer.org/stridesonline. For any cancer-related question, call (800) 227-2345.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1039.