How you can ‘make strides’ against breast cancer

Making Strides Columbus held a drive-thru event on Oct. 3 to celebrate patients, survivors and raise funds. CONTRIBUTED

Celebrating, encouraging and honoring, American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events have been raising spirits, awareness and funds for close to three decades.

Since 1993, more than 15 million supporters have raised more than $935 million nationwide through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events. The funds have enabled the American Cancer Society to conduct groundbreaking research; provide free, comprehensive information and support breast cancer patients and help people take steps to reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable.

While 2020 has established a new normal for work, school and social events, it also prompted a reimagining of the Making Strides events.

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“While the traditional aspects of our walks can’t happen, the community is still rallying together and supporting each other,” said Alex Houser Vukoder, American Cancer Society North Central Region director of communications. “Breast cancer hasn’t stopped and neither can our work.”

The impact of COVID-19 will likely reduce the ability to fund cancer research by 50 percent in 2020 yet the need remains constant. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 10,000 women in Ohio alone will likely be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer in her lifetime is about 13 percent, meaning a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer.

But, as a result of early screening, detection and treatment, there is an ever-growing number of survivors, more than 3.5 million in the United States alone.

Making Strides Columbus held a drive-thru event on Oct. 3 to celebrate patients, survivors and raise funds. CONTRIBUTED

In order to promote safe and socially-distanced events, the traditional walks are being replaced by visual experiences that participants take part in from their cars. Tributes at Twilight at the Wright State University Nutter Center on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Pink Your Parade at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 24 are just two of the socially-distanced events taking place across the country during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Making Strides had really robust community events but, while we’re not able to be shoulder to shoulder like we’re used to, we can still help our community celebrate, honor and heal,” Houser Vukoder said.

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If you can’t make the drive-thru events in person, there are other ways to help the American Cancer Society’s effort. Dedicate a Tribute Luminaria to honor and remember a loved one who has fought breast cancer. Gold and pink luminaria are available for a donation of $10 and $25, respectively, and will be displayed during Tributes at Twilight.

Individuals can also raise funds and walk with their own personal team in their neighborhood any day in October. And, despite the pandemic, the American Cancer Society is urging people to keep up on preventative health screenings like mammograms.

ExploreSupport the local fight against breast cancer by purchasing Pink Ribbon Bagels from Panera Bread

American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Events

Making Strides of Greater Dayton will present Tributes at Twilight on Oct. 17, 2020, at the Nutter Center. The drive-thru event is free and open to the public and the visual experience will feature a luminaria presentation. CONTRIBUTED

Tributes at Twilight

What: A visual experience celebrating breast cancer awareness month, honoring and remembering those that have been affected by breast cancer as well as raising funds for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The drive-thru is free and open to the public and the visual experience will feature a luminaria presentation.

When: Oct. 17, 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: Wright State University Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn

Info: Participants are encouraged to support this event by dedicating a luminaria at www.MakingStridesWalk.org/Dayton

Making Strides Cincinnati will present Parade Your Pink near Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 24, 2020. The event is free and open to the public and the community is encouraged to decorate their cars and enjoy some of the special elements of a traditional Making Strides Walk from the safety of their cars. CONTRIBUTED

Parade Your Pink

What: A visual experience celebrating breast cancer awareness month, honoring and remembering those that have been affected by breast cancer as well as raising funds. The Parade is free and open to the public and the community is encouraged to decorate their cars and enjoy some of the special elements of a traditional Making Strides Walk from the safety of their cars.

When: Oct. 24, 9-11 a.m.

Where: Paul Brown Stadium Lot E, 297 W. Mehring Way, Cincinnati

Info: Participants can support this event by making a donation at www.MakingStridesWalk.org/Cincinnati

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