Walking for awareness: The Susan G. Komen 5k race

Itziar Carrasco Gomez, Opinion/Editorials Editor

Reba Rinehart at Race for the Cure. Having family pass on from breast cancer is a hardship no one wishes to endure. (GH Falcon Staff)

On May 6, Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) held a Race for the Cure event. Participants ran a 5k race to raise funds for further research, treatment and support for breast cancer survivors and those lost due to the illness. 

Komen is a breast cancer organization founded in 1982 as a non-profit organization. Through Komen, members organize events to support the breast cancer cause. Typical events they host include 5K races, walks and fitness runs.

This year, both survivors and supporters of the cause came together at the Research Triangle Park. Reba Rinehart, one of these supporters, came to bring awareness and carry the torch passed to her by her cousin.

Rinehart’s cousin, Lavita Rodriquez, became involved in the breast awareness cause when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Due to the age requirement of 33 for mammography, Rodriquez found out about her cancer too late to recover.

Rodriquez sadly lost her battle with cancer, and Rinehart is now involved with Komen, participating in walks and runs to bring awareness and demand earlier mammography for women.

She didn’t let her disability stop her from advocating and educating others.

— Reba Rinehart

She hopes to bring more awareness to the need for mammography in the earlier stages of life instead of the current age of 33. Catching cancer early permits the start of treatment and prevents the further spread of cancer cells.

Komen’s emphasis is not just on finding the ultimate cure for cancer, but also on initiating that those who suffer from it can know early enough to take action.

Breast cancer is a challenging financial process to recover from, and the loss of women leaves hundreds without sisters, mothers and cousins such as that of Rinehart. Coming together as a community is a great way to show allyship with those who have passed or survived but also demand progress in science.