We see the color pink more often than ever before. Players and coaches of the Washington Redskins and others in the National Football League incorporate pink with their uniforms during October, while Major League Baseball players such as Adam Dunn played with pink bats this past Mother’s Day.
Pink has become a nationwide-no, global- symbol of strength and unity, representing the fight against the most common form of cancer diagnosed among women: breast cancer.
The Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure is one of the most enlightening, beneficial and powerful events taking place in Washington, D.C. each year. This race is for anyone who’s been touched by the devastation caused by breast cancer or is simply fed up that 1 in 8 American women will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime while a cure has yet to be found.
On June 5th, more than 50,000 people from across the globe will participate in this 5K race/walk on the National Mall, providing much needed emotional and financial support to those affected by breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors can openly remember and reflect on their struggles, while organizers and featured speakers communicate the challenges and solutions to issues surrounding the disease. Participants who have not had cancer themselves reinforce their solidarity with loved ones suffering from the disease and can offer comfort to friends and strangers alike who have lost someone close to them.
Funds raised from the past two races allowed Komen for the Cure to invest more than $6.5 million in local organizations towards breast cancer education, outreach and patient/survivor support efforts. Although this money will go a long way, it is never enough to assist each and every area woman and family struggling with the disease.
As a member of Congress, I proudly serve in a leadership role on health care issues and am co-chair of the Congressional Prevention Caucus, a group of reform-minded Members who strive to educate Congress and the public on disease prevention and health promotion. With 50 million Americans currently uninsured, there remain a number of groups within the community that are underserved and would greatly benefit from your participating in the race.
Grants made possible by the Race for the Cure have gone to numerous area organizations. Most recently, the Arlington Free Clinic received funds to provide screening and navigation services to patients and the Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services was awarded funding to increase access to education, outreach, clinical breast exams, screening referrals and navigation services for women living in neighborhoods with high poverty rates.
We must continue to be diligent in our efforts to educate the public and to galvanize support for finding a cure. With one and eight women afflicted with breast cancer in her lifetime, we can’t afford to let up now. Our mothers, sisters and daughters are counting on us.
For more information, visit www.globalraceforthecure.org or call 703-416-RACE (7223).
Rep. James Moran (D) is Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.