AVON — For many, breast cancer takes a major toll on their life -- whether that be a personal experience, or seeing a loved on battle it.
However, many community member will look at battle this disease with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk beginning at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 6 at the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA.
”Last year was the first year that we had the walk in Hendricks County,” said Beverly Austin, with the American Cancer Society. “The American Cancer Society, in our division, but especially in Indiana, the smaller community events are new to us. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has been around, this is our 20th year, but they usually have been in larger markets, like Indianapolis, Detroit, those big walks.”
Seeing a void in Hendricks County, led to the group’s inspiration to host an event here.
”We weren’t sure what to expect, but we noticed that there weren’t a lot of Hendricks County addresses that go to the Indianapolis walk,” Austin said. “So we thought maybe if we brought it to them, they would participate.”
Though there was so uncertainty, they were pleasantly surprised.
”We had a fundraising goal of $35,000 and they grossed almost $70,000,” Austin said. “We had nearly 1,000 participants. The community was very supportive, it was a great event, and everyone had a really good time.”
With last year’s success, the group is hoping to have over 100 teams this year and raise $80,000 to fight breast cancer.
Though they are pleased with the support in Hendricks County, Austin realizes that much of this comes from the impact of breast cancer.
”I think that it just says that a lot of us have been impacted by cancer, but specifically breast cancer,” she said. “With the one in eight lifetime chance of a woman getting breast cancer, it is a high incidence. There are a lot of people who have directly been impacted by breast cancer. I think they are highly motivated to do something about it. We see that across the country.”
Austin said that the YMCA has been a great host, also allowing a shorter walking trail for families, which a lot of other events are not able to do. In addition, she is pleased to have the support of both hospitals, Hendricks Regional Health and Indiana University Health West, as major sponsors.
”It’s great that both hospitals are flagship sponsors of the event,” Austin said. “Both hospitals have representation on a committee. They come together with the sole focus of fighting breast cancer.”
All survivors are welcome to attend the event and there will be special activities and recognition for them and their caregivers.
They are hosting one more team leader meeting prior to the event at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at the HRH YMCA to equip anyone who is seeking more information about being a team leader.
Teams can sign up for the event by registering online at MakingStridesWalk.org/HendricksCountyIN.