Saturday’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News began with hope.
Walkers dressed in pink, from hats to tutus, and even doggy wear at the awareness event which featured a live DJ, useful information free food, face-painting for children and much needed support and relaxation for survivors of breast cancer.
Of the top four types of cancers affecting women, breast cancer is number one, and disparities between rates of diagnosis and rates of death continue to grow.
While non-Latino whites still make up the majority of new diagnoses, African- American women and the elderly make up the highest rate of death from the disease, almost double that of others, due, in part, to a lack of adequate health care coverage.
Despite these facts, Saturday’s walkers came cheerfully to celebrate the survivors, remember those who lost the fight or simply pay homage to the cause.
Scott Vaughn of the Sandbar and Grill on J. Clyde Morris Blvd. came to offer donations of food, almost 800 sub sandwiches to be exact, to the event. He first heard of the cause when he heard that the event’s coordinator, Veronica Weymouth, had breast cancer.
“Everybody knows somebody with breast cancer,” he said, “so this kind of hit us like it hit everybody else here and around the world, how important it is to raise money for this event.”
Lisa Grant and her daughter Taylor came to the walk without a team to support a cousin suffering from breast cancer.
“Especially as African-American women, we need to get checked more often,” said Grant. “Getting your mammograms done, your yearly check-ups done, we need to do that more often.”
Taylor agreed. “Go get checked,” she said. “It’s very important.”
Sheila Costell-Brown, whose mother, aunt and uncle all died of lung cancer came to the event to hopefully spread the word about any cancer.
“I’m out here trying to save lives,” Brown said. “For those who don’t know if they even have breast cancer, or even have any type of cancer in their bodies.”
Coworker Tracy Howard added that women also have to start asking more questions.
“My advice to give to them is to talk to their doctors, talk to other people that been through it and learn up on it more.”
Today, each of the walkers could at least say that they helped make strides.