Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on UA mall a success
The UA Mall was painted pink on Sunday when more than 5,200 people gathered for the 15th anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
The purpose of the race was to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. According to Komen SAZ, 75 cents net of every dollar raised stays in Southern Arizona to provide screening, treatment and education.
People of all ages, races and gender gathered in their pink attire to celebrate not only the lives of those who lost the battle against breast cancer, but those who survived and those who are still fighting.
This was the first time the race was held on the UA campus. According to Gillian Drummond, communications consultant for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Southern Arizona Affiliate. Coordinators of the race decided to move from their location at Reid Park to not interfere with UA baseball games at Hi Corbett Field.
This year, UA track and field athlete and Olympic silver medalist, Brigetta Barrett, served as the honorary race chair. Her duties included opening the 5k race by singing the “Star-Spangled Banner,” riding in the pace car and thanking sponsors.
But for Barrett, this was more than a race. It meant something personal.
Her mother, Lottie, is a breast cancer survivor.
A year and a half ago, Barrett found out her mother was diagnosed.
“My mom and family were kind of keeping it a secret from me, because they didn’t want it to distract me from my training,” Barrett said. “I knew something was wrong, it was kind of frustrating. I understood why but it was frustrating at the same time.”
Barrett said the hardest challenge for her was dealing with the possibility of being parentless.
“When you only have one parent, that’s all you have,” Barrett said. “You don’t want to be parentless at 21. There’s so much you want to experience with your mom.”
Barrett said she was with her best friend when she found out the news, because her mom wanted her to have someone to support her.
“It didn’t affect my training because of my mom, because of how strong she was, because of how strong she wanted me to be. I knew that if the person it’s happening to is the strongest person out of all of us and handled it so well, you can definitely feed off that energy. She’s fabulous.”
Corey Stevenson, an undecided freshman, said that when he was in 7th grade, his mother died from breast cancer.
“It was kind of rough at first. It was really hard to go through, because I was so young,” Stevenson said. “For a while there, I was pretty depressed and kind of kept to myself. Luckily I got through that in high school.”
Stevenson has participated in the Race for the Cure every year since then.
Since 2006, Jenna Brockman, a public management and policy freshman, has participated in the race. This year, Brockman was joined by her mother and her friend. They were running in support of Brockman’s grandmother, a breast cancer survivor.
“It’s inspiring really, because of all the people who come together, and there’s so many people willing to support a cause,” Brockman said.
This support was demonstrated throughout the event. People carrying pom-poms stood by the finish line to cheer as participants completed the race and breakfast was served to honor those who survived breast cancer.
“The biggest part of the healing process is support, having a good mindset about things, having positive energy and having people foster positive energy,” Barrett said. “So the fact that I don’t know any of these people and they’re already fostering positive energy for my mom is beautiful.”