Breast cancer walk in Balboa Park inspires survivors, participants

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SAN DIEGO – More than 3,000 people registered and walked to find a cure for breast cancer Sunday morning in San Diego.

The Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure has now been revamped into “More Than a Pink Walk,” which took place in Balboa Park. The new and improved 5K walk included interactive activities, live music and health screenings on site.

The in-person walk was moved virtually in 2020 due to the coronavirus, but back to in-person this year. Breast cancer survivors, patients, friends and family spoke about their journey at the start of the opening ceremony.

“One in eight women expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her life time and every 12 minutes a women dies of breast cancer in the United States,” said Megan Klink, Reginal Vice President West for Susan G. Komen Foundation. “This is about really brining awareness to take care of your breast health and you can get something early it can save your life.”

Breast cancer survivor Lilian Vanvieldt was diagnosed in 2017, saying the Susan G. Komen Foundation helped her.

“I came here with no hair, nauseous and sick, not sure if I was going to make it and I saw all of these women with signs saying 17-year survivor, 25-year survivor….It was so empowering to know and it gave me hope,” Vanvieldt said.

Vanvieldt says through her journey she found out Black women have a higher chance of death when diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It’s not because we have some genetic issue that causes it, it’s because we don’t have access to health care and when we find out about it, it tends to be too late,” she said.

According to the Susan G. Komen San Diego Chapter website, they have raised $449,981.97, with a goal of $575,000.

“We are going to do that through research to fight the most deadly and aggressive breast cancers, but also to provide care to women who need it now regardless of their insurance status or what their zip code is,” Klink said.

The Susan G. Komen three-day, 60-mile walk will take place Nov. 19. To register or donate, visit the San Diego chapter website.

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