It’s all about pink power at this year’s American Cancer Society’s premier event, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, at Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday, Oct. 20.
About 20,000 borough residents are expected to attend the walk to raise awareness and funds to help fight breast cancer. The noncompetitive walking event unites communities to honor and celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate people about the importance of early detection and prevention, and raise money to fund lifesaving research and support programs.
“There are 120 walks across the country, 19 of them in New England. The walks range in distance from three to six miles,” said Meagan Hallworth, senior manager of Community Development at the American Cancer Society. “Participants can take as long as they want to finish. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is not a race; it is a celebration of survivorship, an occasion to express hope, and a shared goal to end a disease that threatens the lives of so many people we love.”
There are many ways to get involved with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Participants can register and lead a team, walk with an existing team or go solo, volunteer or become a sponsor.
“There are new elements to the walk this year, such as Reflection Row. People can purchase a pink flag at the walk and dedicate it to someone they love who has fought or is fighting cancer, or if they themselves are a survivor,” Hallworth said. “They can walk with those flags and plant them in the ground the last mile of the walk to represent all those we are fighting for. There will also be a Food Truck Row, as well as new tents (Caregiver and Fitness Zones).”
“We require a minimum of 500 volunteers to run this event smoothly. We appreciate all of the support the community gives for this event. We are a volunteer run organization, and rely on our volunteers to host these community events,” Hallworth added.
The ACS is looking to reach their fund-raising goal of $750,000. So far, the organization has raised a total of $149,469.
Funds raised at the event will go toward innovative research to better understand, prevent, find and treat the disease; supporting patients with free rides to chemo, free places to stay near hospitals, a live 24/7 cancer helpline; and education prevention helping people to reduce their breast cancer risk or early detection when it may be easier to treat.
According to the ACS, apart from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer type in women. In 2019, about 271,270 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 62,930 cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS — non-invasive and earliest form of breast cancer) will be diagnosed in women.
On the day of the event, participants at Flushing Meadows Corona Park are expected to check-in at 8 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. To learn more about the Making Strides of Queens or for other information, call 800-227-2345; or contact your local American Cancer Society office with the information provided below:
Megan Hallworth at QueensNYStrides@cancer.org or call 718-517-3214. Visit the office: Skyview Wellness Center 131-07 40th Rd. Suite E.28, Flushing, NY 11354