Romans Raise Funds, Awareness for Breast Cancer
ROME - May 17, 2009 – Today, nearly 50,000 runners and walkers are gathering in the heart of Italy’s capital for the 10th anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Italia Race for the Cure® in Rome. The 5K event, which begins at the Terme di Caracalla Stadium, celebrates a decade of Italians raising awareness for breast cancer and promoting early detection. The event joins more than 120 Komen Race for the Cure events around the globe, raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research and early detection programs while celebrating breast cancer survivorship and honoring those who have lost their battle with the disease.
A Susan G. Komen for the Cure® mission delegation from the United States traveled to Rome to support the Susan G. Komen Italia Affiliate’s 10th anniversary Race. The delegation consists of a small group of Komen for the Cure advocates from across the United States as well as leadership from Komen headquarters, including Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founding chair, and Annetta Hewko, vice president of global strategy and programs. Additionally, Eric Brinker, son of Ambassador Brinker, is delivering Race day remarks on the importance of early detection and access to screening for women across Italy and around the world. Brinker is the nephew of the late Susan G. Komen, for whom the world’s largest breast cancer advocacy group is named.
Thanks to early detection, breast cancer – the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide – can often be overcome. If the disease is diagnosed before spreading beyond the breast, the survival rate in Italy is more than 90 percent. It is important for women to be educated and aware of their breast health. Simple exams such as mammograms should be done once a year for women over 40 years old. This is why the Komen Italia Race for the Cure exists and why the Komen Italia Affiliate operates – to raise awareness and to make the public more conscious of the importance of early detection.
The Komen Italia Race in Rome takes place under the high patronage of the president of the Italian Republic and with the patronage of the Municipality of Rome, Lazio Region, province of Rome, Italian Olympic Committee, Department of Equal Opportunities, General Hospital “Policlinico Gemelli” of Rome, Department of Health and the Italian Athletics Federation. Companies including New Balance, American Airlines and Lete, a bottled water supplier in Italy, have embraced this cause and are sponsoring the Komen Race for the Cure in Rome.
As Piero Marrazzo, president of the Italian region of Lazio, stated at this past week’s press conference announcing the Race, “The Race aims to support all those women who were afraid to tell what they’ve been through – women that need our help to understand that even though they have to face this disease, they can become a symbol and give evidence that it is possible to overcome cancer and still be a woman with the capital W.”
Last week, leading up to the Race, another event was held by the Susan G. Komen Italia Affiliate in collaboration with the Lazio Region and the General Hospital “Gemelli”: the “Traveling Village of Breast Cancer Early Detection.” Thanks to this project held May 11-16, free breast exams and educational courses were offered to some communities that face economical problems in Rome, including missionary nuns, jailed women and underserved women. Additional breast exams were scheduled at the “Early Detection Village,” which took place May 16 at the Terme di Caracalla Stadium and was reserved for underserved women from well-known communities and some deaf-mute women.
Funds raised from the Komen Italia Race in Rome will fund local community projects such as breast cancer screening programs, survivor support groups, rehabilitation and transportation for breast cancer patients, a national toll-free breast cancer hotline, educational outreach campaigns, breast cancer family counseling and other types of support.
For more information about the Komen Italia Race for the Cure, visit www.raceforthecure.it. The Komen Italia Affiliate conducts a Komen Race in Rome, Bari and Bologna. To learn more about the Komen Italia Affiliate, visit www.komen.it.