Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU creates its first Race for the Cure team

We’ve all heard the staggering statistics: The American Cancer Society says one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. About 182,460 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2008 and about 40,480 women will die from the disease this year.

These are facts Yasmaine Ford knows well. After participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for 13 years, Ford has created the first University of Denver team to participate in the Oct. 5 Denver race.

The assistant to the chair in the history department says there are 10 team members but remains optimistic about forming a larger group in years to come. “I would love to see faculty, staff, students, alums and their family members participate on the University of Denver team,” she says.

“Several people that I’ve known personally have been diagnosed with the disease, and that was the catalyst to me doing more,” Ford says. Two members of the DU team —which includes DU employees and their family members — are survivors themselves, she says.

The group will be participating in the co-ed run/walk Sunday morning. The women-only 5k run/walk kicks off the day at 7 a.m.; the co-ed race begins at 8:30 a.m. and a final one-mile family walk starts at 9:30 a.m. Closing ceremonies and a survivors’ tribute is at 10:15 a.m.

Last year, Denver boasted nearly 62,000 participants, netting more than $3 million for breast cancer research, education, treatment and screening programs.

Of the money that will be raised on Sunday, 75 percent will be used locally in the form of grants to area nonprofits that provide breast health screening and treatment programs. The other 25 percent will go to national breast cancer research.

“Walking is great, but giving money toward finding a cure is even better,” Ford says. DU team donations can be madeonline.

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