Thousands of Tucsonans race for a cure

Thousands of Tucsonans race for a cure

CREATED Apr 11, 2011

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin  
Web Producer: Layla Tang

TUCSON (KGUN- TV) - It's the largest participatory charity event in Tucson.  The Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure brought thousands of participants to Reid Park to raise money to fight breast cancer.

Jamie Leopold is one of more than 700 volunteers who helped put on this year's event.  She's the executive director, and said she hopes this year's focus will encourage early detection and a healthy, preventative lifestyle.

"It's about our lifestyle," she said.  "Be fit, have a great healthy lifestyle, make good choices with our food and you will be able to deal with whatever comes your way with any cancer."

One in eight women nationwide is diagnosed with breast cancer, but in Tucson that number is one in six.  That means it impacts thousands in the community.

"My sister is a breast cancer survivor," said Leopold.  "She's coming up on her twentieth celebration.  She was a beneficiary of the tamoxifen medication which was actually funded by early Komen research."

Some wear signs or T-shirts, walking in memory of their loved ones who lost their battle with the disease.  Others, like Linda Brady, run in celebration of survival.  She joined her three daughters for her first 5K run, crossing the finish line with her arms in the air.

"I've done a lot of things since then that I didn't think I didn't think I'd ever do in my life," she said, recalling her struggle six years ago.  "I have absolutely a new outlook on life.  Absolutely."

Seventy-five percent of all the money raised in the event will stay in Tucson.  It will fund programs to raise awareness, research and prevention for breast cancer.