Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Why “More Than Pink Walk” Is So Important For Our Area

ROGERS, Ark. (KFSM) — Thousands will attend this year's Susan G. Komen event in Northwest Arkansas, and this time it will look at a little bit different than recent years. Instead of the race for a cure, Saturday's (April 27) event will be called "More Than Pink Walk."

Those participating will gather in Rogers to remember, support and stand by local men and women in the fight against breast cancer.

Coordinators say they have only met half of their fundraising goal, but say it's not too late. They hope to show everyone how their donation will impact the community.

"I'm a 16-year breast cancer survivor, so Komen is something that is very important to me and very near and dear to my heart," Komen Development Director, and breast cancer survivor, Cecilia Smith, said.

Smith finished her battle with breast cancer in 2003, and since then she has been intimately involved with the Susan G. Komen Ozark chapter.

She told 5NEWS she is passionate about making sure others get the same love and support she had during her fight.

"I think that is what I am so grateful for, and just realizing that not everyone has someone that they can lean on, and that's when Komen steps in."

This year's event puts the focus on how Komen plans to reach their goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026.

"We are not just about awareness, and we aren't just about pink, but we are really moving more towards action, and I think that's important," Smith says.

Event coordinators say this year they plan on highlighting the four core areas where donations go: research, care, community, and action.

"A lot of people can come to these events and not know where their donation dollars are going to, and we want to make sure that no one leaves the event without knowing exactly where their support is going to," Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Ozarks Lauren Marquette said.

The two women shared with 5NEWS their purpose for supporting Komen and why you should too.

"I always tell people if you don't have a story; it's not if it's when.. breast cancer still affects one out of eight. I can just name all these women that I know and love who either lost to breast cancer or fought it and now are on the other side of it," Marquette said.

"It's important for people to know that even though we have come a long way in the fight against breast cancer we still have a long way to go and just my hope is that one day there is a cure and we don't have to do this anymore, so that's my purpose," Smith says.

Participation for last year's event was down. That's why organizers have decided to try a walk this year instead of a race. They're hoping that the change will help bring people back to the event.

You can register online for the race up until the moment the event begins around 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Coordinators for the event told 5NEWS 75% of the money raised from the event will stay right here in our area, and the other 25% goes to cutting edge research to combat breast cancer.

Fundraising for the Ozark chapter doesn't end until Sunday, June 30.

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