Walk raises awareness, dividends

Charity event draws numbers, research funding


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Santa Clara resident Jimmy Ramirez completes his eighth walk during the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Saturday.

By Mike Thomas, Scene Editor

SAN FRANCISCO — With Breast Cancer Awareness Month coming to a close, the American Cancer Association held its Making Strides against Breast Cancer Event at Golden Gate Park Saturday.
Attendees either walk or run to bring awareness for the most common cancer diagnosed in United States, breast cancer.
The walk-a-thon is a national event held all over the U.S. The walk gives the survivors inspiration and raises funds for research while providing mental support from family and friends.
Making Strides for Breast Cancer Community Manager Sophie Croen planned the San Francisco event.
“With the support of a lot of volunteer and sponsors, I was able to manage this event,” Croen said. “It happens every year around this time and we get about 15,000 people who come here — for example (cancer) survivors, family, caregivers and friends.”
People enjoy live music, refreshments and booths. All the participants were dressed in pink, or were giving support to families who survived a scare or are still fighting cancer.
Tonisha Wells, a teacher at Skyline High School, was there supporting her mother who survived breast cancer twice. She also participated in the walk-a-thon with her mom.
“It’s a fun event to meet other survivors of breast cancer and people who are still fighting it,” Wells said. “This is also an event where my family and I can share a bond with my mom.”
In 2001 Wells’ mom won her fight against breast cancer, Wells said. She heard about her the event through her church and since then she’s been actively participating in this event.
“This will be our third year actively participating in the walk, and we definitely plan to come back next year,” Wells said. “We want people to be aware of cancer.”
Volunteers played a huge part in making this event go smoothly. They facilitated registration and set up all the booths and pathways for the walk.
They also gave out information about breast cancer and the event itself. Making Strides volunteer Diane Singleton has been taking part in the event for years and knows the history behind it.
“I’m a second generation volunteer with the American Cancer Society,” Singleton said. “My parents and aunt volunteer cancer events in different areas.”
Singleton lost a grandmother to breast cancer, but her sister-in–law survived it.
However, she has lost many other relatives to other types of cancer, which motivates her to keep volunteering at cancer events.