This column is dedicated to Joy, Maria, Lynne, Vanita, Beth, and Donna
Just the other night, my husband read aloud an e-mail delivering sad news: Yet another friend of ours had breast cancer. I froze, welled up, and as I recalled the other friends and acquaintances who had been similarly stricken, I wondered why and swore at the unfairness of it all.
My doctor once told me that the high number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Marin really wasn’t a result of the water, which used to be an awkward joke, but because of a demographic of educated women with resources and access to good health care. While that may be true, it isn’t placating. Women in general are afflicted by breast cancer at the alarming rate of one in seven – it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and over 40,000 women are estimated to die this year alone.
I’m betting you know someone who’s been afflicted by breast cancer, too, so with October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a perfect time to take action. There are several local events that help fund cancer research, education and advocacy programs, as well as provide patient support, all in an effort to defeat this widespread disease that is taking away our mothers, sisters, cousins, and friends.
Susan G. Komen 3-Day
Thru Oct. 4
San Francisco to Marin
If you missed registering for this walk, you can still cheer on the participants and attend the closing ceremony at Crissy Field. Visit the Web site for times and locations. 800-996-3DAY (3329), www.3day.org
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Saturday, Oct. 13, 7 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park
This 12th annual noncompetitive, five-mile walk starts at Speedway Meadow and meanders toward Ocean Beach, past the windmills and bison paddocks. Entertainment at the main stage begins at 7:30 a.m. with music and cultural performances throughout the day, hosted by Dr. Kim Mulvihill from CBS 5 and Kevin Brown of KBLX. www.cancer.org
Women in Wine
Tuesday, Oct. 27
Presidio Cafe (300 Finley Road)
Featuring wines produced by the top women winemakers, 20 percent of the event proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research. RSVP to email@example.com, 415-561-4661 ext. 209.
Not Your Daughter’s Jeans
Thru Oct. 31, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Mimi’s on Union (2133 Union Street)
Mimi’s will donate $1 to breast cancer research for every pair of NYDJ jeans you try on. 415-923-0454
Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon
Saturday, Oct. 31
Starts at Coppola Winery, Napa
Run through the picturesque Napa and Sonoma counties while supporting breast cancer prevention. Sign up at the Breast Cancer Fund to create your own personal fundraising page or sponsor a runner already registered. www.breastcancerfund.org
To find out more about breast cancer, attend this seminar:
Perspectives of Breast Cancer
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 6–8 p.m.
California Pacific Medical Center
(2333 Buchanan St.)
An oncologist discusses risk factors and current therapies and is joined by a breast cancer survivor who provides a personal perspective. Free with limited seating. RSVP to 415-923-3155 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Thankfully, most of my friends are survivors, with a prognosis still pending for one. Prayers help but they are not enough. Support the women in your life by taking action to find a cure for this insidious disease by logging on to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at www.komen.org and sign the petition to make cancer research a global priority.