COSTA MESA, CA, September 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- With a common goal of eradicating breast cancer, more than 25,000 supporters and breast cancer survivors from Orange County and all over the world flooded Fashion Island for yesterday's 22nd Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Newport Beach. For more than two decades, the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, the largest race of its kind in California, and the organization's signature fundraising event, has served as an inspirational day of hope toward finding a cure.---
Event organizers expect to meet the $2.5 million fundraising goal - with preliminary totals currently at $2 million. Fundraising for the 2013 Race for the Cure will continue through October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the deadline for participants to turn in donations.
"Every year we're inspired and touched by the amount of people who attend the race, and with their continued support it's no wonder that the Orange County Race for the Cure is such a touching event and outstanding success," said Lisa Wolter, executive director of Komen Orange County. "We're proud that race participants will see seventy-five percent of the money they raised put to work in the local community through education programs, low- or no-cost mammograms, treatment and diagnostic opportunities to those in Orange County who would have otherwise been unable to afford it."
The first 5K in support of breast cancer kicked off at 7:15 a.m. Some late-risers joined a second 5K at 9:45 a.m. or opted for a One-Mile Fun Run at 8:00 a.m. Komen Orange County was proud to welcome Ali Vincent, the first-ever female winner of the NBC hit show The Biggest Loser and host of Living Big with Ali Vincent on the Live Well Network , as a special guest to Sunday's Race.
The most poignant part of the day was the always-touching Survivor Tribute Ceremony, which started with a procession of more than 1,200 survivors, each donning a string of pink beads for every year of survivorship, parading their way from the Survivor Pavilion to the steps of the Pacific Life building. This year's ceremony included moving, inspiring and emotional words from three local breast cancer survivors, including Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens. Hutchens was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer last November, but caught the disease early. She is still undergoing radiation. She delivered her first speech on her journey at Komen's 2013 Survivor Awards in August and shared her fight with hundreds of onlookers at yesterday's tribute ceremony.
The ceremony also included speeches from breast cancer survivors Georganna Hall-Wadsack of Huntington Beach and Ashlea Wright of Huntington Beach.
Hall-Wadsack was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 2011 at the age of 38 and recently completed treatment. A single mother at the time with no health insurance, she found out she had the disease through a Komen Orange County-funded mammogram after being turned away from two other doctors. Komen Orange County sought a grant to cover the cost of her diagnostic breast health services and also provided emotional support to Hall-Wadsack, who credits Komen with saving her life. She shared her story at last year's Survivor Tribute Ceremony and is an active participant and volunteer at Stand Up for the Cure, an annual fundraiser that raised $100,000 last year for Komen Orange County.
Wright was diagnosed with a triple negative sarcoma in her breast before the age of 30. After getting over the initial shock of her diagnosis, she started a seven-month chemotherapy program, which caused her to lose her hair. Wright credits her faith and an amazing support system of family and friends with getting her through treatment and supplying her with the strength she needed to beat her cancer.
"Every year I'm inspired and so grateful for the amazing response to the race by the Orange County community," said Marie Cammack, event chair of the 2013 Race for the Cure. "The funds raised will make education, treatment and diagnosis programs available to more people throughout Orange County than ever before. We would like to acknowledge and thank all of our corporate sponsors and each team, volunteer and individual participant for making the 2013 Race for the Cure a success once again."
The 22nd Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by the numbers:
• The Race featured more than 16,000 registered participants.
• Of the registered participants, more than 1,200 were breast cancer survivors.
• Other supporters included those racing for a loved one affected by breast cancer.
• There were nearly 700 teams, the largest being Bank of America with 504 team members.
• More than 1,600 volunteers from Orange County and all over the world helped at booths, water stations and on the course.
Carla Cammack of Fountain Valley was the top individual fundraiser, having raised $12,922 to-date for this year's Race. Cammack is celebrating her sixteenth year of survivorship.
The top fundraising team was Team Experian, whose team fundraising total is currently at $38,412.
Stephen Tippett of Mission Viejo won the 7:15 runner's start 5K, with a time of 17:21; Roberto Avila of Mission Viejo won the 9:45 5K with a time of 20:24. Top finishers of the breast cancer survivors were Caroline McAndrews of Laguna Niguel for the 7:15 5K with a time of 21:43; and Michelle Lewis of Newport Beach for the 9:45 5K with a time of 25:36.
On the heels of yesterday's successful Race events, registration opens today for the first-ever healthy breast tissue collection event on the West Coast, targeting women of Asian American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, African American and Latina descent. Susan G. Komen Orange County, in partnership with MemorialCare Medical Group, and made possible by a grant from The Allergan Foundation, will host the event on Nov. 2 at MemorialCare Medical Center (11420 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley). By bringing the initiative to Orange County, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center hopes to diversify its current samples, which represent a primarily Caucasian donor pool, to more adequately represent the global population. For more information or sign-ups, visit: http://ow.ly/p1JRs.
Seventy-five percent of the funds raised through Komen Orange County are invested in local breast cancer awareness and education programs, breast self-examination classes, medical and diagnostic services for uninsured and underinsured women, and other community needs through grants to community breast health organizations. The remaining 25 percent is dedicated to the Komen Award and Research Grant Program to fund groundbreaking breast cancer research, such as the Komen Tissue Bank collection event.
Local Presenting Sponsors include The Allergan Foundation, Chevron, Orange County Register, Ralphs and Food 4 Less. Platinum Sponsors are ABC7 and Pacific Life. Diamond Sponsors are ADP, Fashion Island, MartiniInTheMorning.com, Spa Gregorie's, 100.3FM The Sound and Yoplait.
About Susan G. Komen
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Suzy, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today Susan G. Komen works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world by investing more than $790 million in breast cancer research and 1.5 billion in community outreach programs over the past 30 years; providing funding to help low-income and uninsured women get screened and get treatment, advocating for cancer research and outreach programs; and working globally in more than 30 countries. Visit Komen.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on Susan G. Komen Orange County, please visit http://www.komenoc.org or call 714-957-9157.
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