It’s a chilly, yet pleasant October morning, and friends and family are gathered at the Michigan Capitol building. They are wearing pink T-shirts, hats, tutus, boas and other attire embellished with a familiar pink ribbon. Music is playing in the background; everyone is smiling, chatting and fastening their shoelaces, ready to begin the day.
Downtown Lansing’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (Making Strides) event is a noncompetitive 5K organized by the American Cancer Society (ACS), and it’s a special time of community, learning and encouragement for many. Participants — including survivors, family members of survivors and those passionate about the cause — come together for the same purpose: raising awareness and providing support for breast cancer research.
“At the walk we celebrate survivors and remember those who we have lost,” said Katie Jones, senior community development manager at the ACS in East Lansing. “Funds raised through Making Strides go to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research and patient services.”
According to the ACS, aside from skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. “It is estimated that 8,160 women will be diagnosed in Michigan this year with breast cancer and 1,410 will die from the disease,” Jones said.
Fortunately, those diagnosed are not alone. There is a plethora of resources available: local support programs, treatment centers, online communities and events such as Making Strides. MSU student Samantha Terrian has been attending the walk in Lansing for years.
“My favorite part is when the walk starts, and you can see how many people are actually there and see how many of us are coming together for the cause,” Terrian said.
Making Strides of Lansing is Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Michigan State Capitol. Registration is at 9:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 11 a.m. This is a wonderful chance to engage with other community members in a common cause. Jones encourages sharing experiences through social media, as spreading the word and raising awareness is incredibly important.
For more information and volunteer opportunities, visit cancer.org/involved/volunteer/making-strides. If you have fundraising ideas, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for resources.