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Race for the Cure: 'We race for everyone'

Racers started the 5k fun run at the Race for the Cure Sunday, March 5, in Eugene, Ore. Photo by Mack Veltman.
Racers started the 5k fun run at the Race for the Cure Sunday, March 5, in Eugene, Ore. Photo by Mack Veltman.
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EUGENE, Ore. - Snow, sleet and temperatures in the lower 30s did not deter almost 1,000 participants and volunteers who joined together for the Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure at the Valley River Center in Eugene, Ore., early Sunday morning.

The Race for the Cure is the world’s largest fundraising event for patients and survivors of breast cancer. The Eugene race took place March 5, 7 a.m. to noon, and included a survivor/fighter tribute, 5K fun run, 5K fun walk, and 1-mile family walk. Registration ranged from $10 to $40 and included either a pink survivor shirt or white race shirt.

Sisters Kathy Jewell and Melanie Clark raced along the paved paths of the Willamette River Trail to honor their mother, a 5-year survivor of breast cancer who passed away from a heart attack. The sisters have run in the race since it debuted in Eugene.

“Events like this create awareness, and put it foremost in people’s minds,” Jewell said.

Other people joined teams to fundraise for the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Rhonda Fenrich, a cancer survivor and founder of the fundraising team Rack Pack, said her team formed in 2007 to support a law student whose mother had breast cancer.

“We are the largest fundraising team in Oregon with 31 people,” Fenrich said. “We race for everyone."

Vendors, offering information and support for racers, and food carts, with coffee and snacks, lined the Valley River Center parking lot.

Andrew Taylor, education and outreach assistant for Greenhill Humane Society, said the organization wanted to show support for the cause.

“We ask for so much support from our community, so we want people to know that we are here for them as well,” Taylor said.

Andrew Asato, executive director for Susan G. Komen in Oregon and Southwest Washington, said 1 in 7 women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.

“We show our support and put resources back into the community to support early detection, survivor and fighter advocacy, and research,” Asato said.

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Founded in 1982, The Susan G. Komen Foundation works to support breast cancer patients and survivors with medical and emotional support, invest in research, and provide community education about the disease. Proceeds from the race will be used for screening and mammograms, lodging and travel expenses for those with breast cancer, advocacy and research.

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