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5K walk to fund cancer research

Breast cancer victims, survivors and others will take part in the Oct. 18 event to raise awareness about the disease.

SAUNDRA AMRHEIN
Published September 29, 2003

DADE CITY - In the rolling green hills and neatly trimmed meadows, maybe they'll remember a special laugh. Or somewhere on a peaceful horse trail, perhaps they can recall holding hands on a midnight stroll.

Loved ones of breast cancer victims, as well as survivors and their families, can gather this year at the home of the Little Everglades Steeplechase to help raise awareness and research money during the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

The 5K walk Oct. 18 will be the biggest event of its kind for breast cancer awareness in Pasco and Hernando counties, said Jean Harberts, community representative with the American Cancer Society of Pasco.

Steeplechase is one of 15 additional sites in Florida chosen by the American Cancer Society for this year's annual fundraising walk, she said.

The ranch is about a mile north of Dade City off U.S. 301 and is the host of popular amateur horse and Jack Russell terrier races each March.

The serene setting makes a perfect place for either grieving families or those celebrating the survival of a loved one, Harberts said.

"When you are standing out there and looking at the green, beautiful rolling hills, it's so calming," she said. "It seems the perfect place to honor cancer survivors."

Men, women and children from all walks of life are welcome to participate, she said. Teams are already forming in both counties.

"A team can consist of a person walking, raising money in honor of someone or to show they care, or a team can be 600 people," Harberts said. "A company can wear their company shirts and walk and get additional exposure saying they're out there raising money for research and programs for breast cancer."

Educational information about breast cancer, including how to do self-examinations, will be available at the event, she added.

This year, 203,000 new breast cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States, Harberts said. The anticipated number of deaths nationwide from breast cancer this year is 40,200: 39,800 women and 400 men.

Men, too, need to be aware of breast cancer, she said. Though the numbers of cases among men are far lower than they are for women, they are rising.

Last year, 1,500 new cases of breast cancer in men were diagnosed nationwide, a 3 percent increase from the year before, she said.

Awareness of breast cancer among African-American women is particularly crucial, Harberts said, as the survival rate is worse than it is for white women who seek treatment for the disease at an earlier stage because of detection by regular mammograms.

If you go

WHAT: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

WHEN: Oct. 18. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The 5K walk begins at 9 a.m. and should end about 11 a.m.

COST: Registration is free, but the walk is a fundraiser for breast cancer research; individuals and groups may participate.

WHERE: Little Everglades Steeplechase grounds, off U.S. 301 north of Dade City.

INFORMATION: Call Jean Harberts toll-free at 1-800-940-1969, ext. 113.

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