Historic Wilmington, voted America’s best riverfront community by readers of USA Today and 10 Best, opens its downtown streets to walkers and runners on March 7, 2015 for the Third Annual Susan G. Komen Wilmington Race for the Cure®.
“Fifty counties in North Carolina were represented in the inaugural Wilmington race,” said Pam Kohl, Executive Director of Susan G Komen’s Triangle to the Coast Affiliate. “People from 18 states participated, including Alaska, which is amazing. The Wilmington race provides a unique combination of fitness, history and family travel, while supporting a great cause.”
Wilmington’s Race for the Cure® features a timed 5K run, a 5K walk and one-mile walk all in the Historic district preceded by an invigorating Zumba warm-up. Activities include a Kids’ Dash for ages 3-5, a breast cancer survivor’s breakfast, and a survivor’s celebration with group photo. Entertainment and food will be onsite as well.
“We’re pleased to share our historic riverside community to support the on-going battle against breast cancer,” said Bill Saffo, Mayor of Wilmington. “Each year, we witness a tremendous outpouring of love and support for this event from local citizens and people across the nation.”
Breast cancer survival rates continue to improve because of early diagnosis, improved treatment and research. In 1980, the 5-year relative survival rate for early stage diagnosis was about 74%. Today, that number has increased to 99%, according to the Komen organization. Even so, breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the U.S.
“In eastern North Carolina, the incidence of breast cancer and mortality rate from breast cancer are higher than average,” said Kohl, a breast cancer survivor. “No woman’s life should be dependent on her geography.”
Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised by Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast stay in local communities to support education programs, screenings and treatment programs. The other 25% helps fund Komen’s national research programs.
In 2014, Komen announced more than $2 million in research grants at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, a total research investment in North Carolina of $31 million since 1982.
“Stay positive. Fight with all you’ve got,” said Lavonda Gaskin Howard from Wilmington. Howard, a five-year breast cancer survivor has run in every Wilmington race because she wants to give back. “I wanted to do for breast cancer patients as so many had done for me.”