For more than 25 years, October has been recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And that means it’s time for the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, which this year is set for Saturday, Oct. 13 in downtown West Palm Beach. Everyone is touched by breast cancer in some way, whether personally or having a family member, friend, neighbor or colleague suffer from it. Making Strides is a way to empower people to not only fight back against the disease but join together to support survivors and those who are still struggling.
According to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer web site, the origins of the walk started in 1984, when Massachusetts cancer survivor Margery Gould Rath decided there should be an event that celebrates survivors and raises money for the American Cancer Society. The first walk was referred to as “move-along-athon” and saw approximately 200 people come together in Boston to support the cause. Making Strides became an annual event and continued locally each year before falling under the banner of the American Cancer Society in 1993 and spreading to Manchester, N.H. That year saw some 4,000 participants between the two cities. Now, nearly 20 years later and almost three decades since the very first event, the walk draws millions of people each year nationwide.
Though Rath passed away in 2001, her legacy is more alive than ever. Money raised goes to anything from supporting cutting-edge research to paying for lodging and transportation for breast cancer patients in need.
While Making Strides is the staple breast cancer awareness event this month, there are several more events happening locally. Your Bosom Buddies II, a local support group for breast cancer patients and survivors, will host or take part in several gatherings throughout the month, starting Saturday, Oct. 6 with the Pink Ribbon Brunch & Fashion Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Binks Forest Golf Club. Other events include Girls Night Out on Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Players Club, a Quarters Auction on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center and Petals and Bows on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Spa Zen. Also, the group is holding month-long fundraising at Brighton Collectibles in the Mall at Wellington Green, and Hi-Tech Plumbing is donating 5 percent of all its sale proceeds to the group during October. For more information about Your Bosom Buddies II, visit www.yourbosombuddiesii.org.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer will take place Saturday, Oct. 13 at 9 a.m. at the Meyer Amphitheatre. For more info., visit http://makingstrides.acsevents.org. Next year, the event will celebrate its 20th birthday with the American Cancer Society. Because of its success, many of its participants will continue to celebrate their own birthdays well into the future. For more about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.nbcam.org.