This past weekend I had the privilege of running for a great cause. CT Race in the Park is a 5K race put together by Connecticut Breast Health Initiative, Inc. (CT BHI), in conjunction with the Hartford Marathon Foundation to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research right here in the state of CT. The event also honors survivors and remembers those that have passed from this awful disease.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women. One in eight woman will develop breast cancer and approximately 40,000 women will die from it each year in the US.
Like most things, there is a general recommendation for detection; self-exams, yearly doctor visits and recommended mammograms. According to the CDC, women between the ages of 50-74 should have a mammogram every two years. Those 40-49 should consult with their doctor on their recommendations for screenings.
I’ve learned though, that it’s never too early. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It has no time frame and no respect for where you are in your life. My Aunt was 28 years old when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She was a wife and a mom to two young children, and she had her world and dreams turned upside down by this awful disease. But because of advanced research and organizations like CT BHI, 38 years later, she’s a survivor. She completed her survivor walk with her head held high and a smile spread ear to ear, and I couldn’t have been happier for her. She’s an amazingly strong woman and found the strength to battle breast cancer twice, refusing to let it win. She’s an inspiration to me, proving that you can truly do anything you set your mind to.
The 3.1 miles I ran that morning were dedicated to her and all the women who have had to battle this disease. You are all amazing and courageous!
I encourage every woman reading this to take the time and talk to your doctor about getting properly screened. It could make all the difference.