As this week marks the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many organizations across the District are gearing up to support the cause.
The Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star will on Saturday, Oct. 7 sponsor their annual 5K Breast Cancer Walk, with the proceeds to go toward the Howard University Cancer Research Center.
The official walk is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Northwest, where participants will engage in a warmup exercise with the actual walk to begin immediately after.
Registration is free for all youth and $40 for adults.
“This walk has been going on for 15 years,” said Patricia L. Young, grand worthy matron of the Georgiana Thomas Grand Chapter. “Over the years, so many of our members and close relatives have been touched by cancer. Because of that we felt it necessary to not only participate in larger walks such as Susan G. Komen, but also to create one centered in and around our community.”
Though more white women currently experience higher rates of breast cancer, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Black women still have higher mortality rates of those diagnosed.
The efforts by the Howard University Cancer Research Center to combat the disease include: treatment programs such as the Rosemary Williams Mammoday Program, in which low-income women 40 or older receive a clinical breast examination and mammogram for free; Project Early Awareness, a program used to educate girls in the 10th through 12th grade about their bodies and how to detect breast cancer early; and the Cancer Research Exercise Program, which offers a wide range of behavioral intervention programs to promote the well-being of cancer patients and those at increased cancer risk using exercise.
“To date, our organization has raised over $150,000 benefiting Howard University Cancer Research Center and during the end of our walk, our organization will gladly present the hospital with another marked check to continue to support their efforts,” Young said. “It’s never too late to get checkups, but we always say that ‘we are the ones who are the keepers of our bodies. So come to the event, participate with us and support a worthy cause.”