Race for the Cure breaks new ground in Oregon

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By Kelli Warner,
KMTR-TV Morning News anchor, Springfield

Eugene is about to experience a first.

Next month, on October 10th, the Susan G. Komen Foundation will hold its first Race for the Cure in Eugene, starting and ending at Autzen Stadium.  As many of you may know, the only Race for the Cure in Oregon, until now, has been held in Portland.  So for folks south of the Rose City, this is very exciting news.

Did you know that Oregon has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the country?  The rate is even higher in Lane County.  Nearly 34,000 women in Lane County do not have insurance, and according to the Komen Foundation, most of these women are putting off annual mammograms.  Money raised through the Race for the Cure supports not only cancer research and support services for those going through treatment, but also it provides mammograms for women who can’t afford them.  It’s been proven that regular screenings, including monthly self-exams, save lives.

My television station, KMTR NewsSource 16, started a program last year called “16 Checks In.”  Here’s how it works: You sign up on our website, free of charge, and on the 16th of each month, we’ll send you an email reminder to do your monthly self-exam.  It’s a simple, hassle-free way to stay on top of your health.

I thought it was cool program from the start.

Then we met a woman named Christine.

She signed up for “16 Checks In” and during one of her monthly self-exams, she found a lump.  That led her to have a mammogram.  Now, Christine, just 41 years old, is in the early stages of battling a very fast-growing and aggressive form of cancer.  She’s currently undergoing chemotherapy, but Christine says she’s lucky.  Doctors told her if she had waited just one more month to get a mammogram, the cancer could have spread to her lymph nodes.

That’s something to think about.

We all get busy, and we have a lot on our plates.  So check out “16 Checks In”.  You’ll find a link at www.kmtr.com.  It’s one less thing you’ll have to remember, and one more way you can protect your health.  We’re happy to help.

I’m also happy to say KMTR NewsSource 16 is one of the teams participating in the Eugene Race for the Cure.  I, along with many of my co-workers, have been directly impacted by breast cancer or know someone who has a story to tell.  My grandmother survived breast cancer in her early 40’s.  And while reporting on the preparations for the Race, I’ve met many women who can all proudly say they, too, are survivors.  But the reality is—not everyone will beat it.  So the community has to keep fighting; keep talking; keep educating ourselves and the people we love to be advocates for themselves.  We can do this.

If you attended this month’s Race for the Cure in Portland, I’d love to hear your story.  Tell me what the event meant to you.  And if you’re able, join us for the Eugene race.  It will be an event showcasing a lot of pink, a lot of passion, and a lot of empowerment for women all over.

Remember the date: 10-10-10.
We hope to see you there.