Sheila Seiler Previews the 2017 Race for the Cure

On September 14, thousands of people will gather at Eastland Mall for the Annual Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure. The event looks to raise thousands of dollars in the fight against breast cancer.

Amy Mangold talks with Sheiler Seiler, the executive director for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Evansville Tri-State, about this year's Race for the Cure.

Transcript of interview:

Amy Mangold: "Welcome back. One week from Sunday, thousands of people will gather at eastland mall for the Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event. And the event hopes to raise thousands of dollars in the fight against breast cancer. I'm joined now by Sheila Seiler, the executive director for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Evansville Tri-State. Welcome, Sheila. First let's talk about the event itself. It's hard to believe this is the 20th race and it all started back in 1998, correct?

Sheila Seiler: "1998. I'm telling you what it's so awesome. Mary Beth Owen and Julie Blevins brought the race here to Evansville 20 years ago. So now we're celebrating 20 years of saving lives in the Tri-State."

Amy Mangold: "It's amazing and it has had so much support. Let's talk about the event itself. When, where and how much?"

Sheila Seiler: "It is Sunday, September 24, at Eastland Mall. You can still register online at komenevansville.org or you can stop by our race headquarters any day next week at 4610 Vogel Road in the Woodland Commons Shopping Center and register from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m."

Amy Mangold: "Such a special event with the survivors parade, everything. It's very moving to be there, most definitely."

Sheila Seiler: "It is an emotional party like no one has ever seen. It really is quite emotional sometimes seeing the survivor's parade of pink. But it's a happy kind of cry because these women are survivors and some of them have been survivors for very long periods of time. Some of them are brand new survivors. Some are what we call our forever fighters. They have metastatic breast cancer and they're fighting everyday. It's a very emotional time, but it's a lot of good fun."

Amy Mangold: "And it's so neat to see everyone else coming to support these ladies in their fight."

Sheila Seiler: "Coming from walking through that survivor parade, it is empowering even to know that there are thousands of people out there that are rooting for you along with the family and friends that you love and cherish."

Amy Mansold: "Ah, so wonderful. And you usually have something new every year and something new this year that has some music, right?"

Sheila Seiler: "We are very excited about this. The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra called us and said 'Hey, can we do something with the race?' So, they are bringing out about 12 people who will be doing a fanfare at the start of the 5K race. So we will have some brass instruments out there playing very loudly doing something a little special, just to add an extra moment to the day."

Amy Mangold: "And you always need volunteers, so people shouldn't sit back and say 'Oh, I'm sure they've got plenty.'"

Sheila Seiler: "Oh, please don't think that. I mean, starting Monday we can use all of the volunteers that we can get. Our headquarters is open from 10 to 6 Monday through Saturday and then again on Sunday. We will have about 500 volunteers on site to corral about 8 thousand to 10 thousand people."

Amy Mangold: "Wow, a big job. And I'm sure all different kinds of jobs so if you can do anything. Just offer your services, right?"

Sheila Seiler: "It could be something as simple as alphabetizing the registration forms or it could be something like putting the registration forms into the computer system. So if you could file, or if you can hand out a T-shirt to somebody or if you have something a little more industrious that you'd like to do and you'd like to help us set up on saturday, the day before the race. My husband and a bunch of crew from Alcoa come out and that doesn't just pop up all by itself. It takes a lot of volunteers to get everything set up and ready to go for race morning."

Amy Mangold: "And a lot of charities under scrutiny but this money. A lot of this money stays right here in the Tri-State, correct?"

Sheila Seiler: Absolutely, so many people don't know that up to 75% of what we raise here in our Tri-State stays here in our Tri-State. And it helps the people that we know and love, our friends and our family members and our co-workers and maybe our neighbors. And it provides for mammograms, diagnostic tests like ultrasounds, biopsies. Could pay for treatment or surgery for those people who are either uninsured or underinsured. And right now, 53% of the population of our Tri-State is underinsured."

Amy Mangold: "And really quickly, we were talking before now. The big deal right now, you're seeing it earlier. Younger women, correct?"

Sheila Seiler: "It is a little bit frightening. We've made such great strides in saving lives. And the rate of... if you're diagnosed in stage 1 or stage 2 and we catch it early, you have a 99% of surviving the disease and living the rest of your natural lifetime. Unfortunately, younger women, we're finding breast cancer in younger women and oftentimes, that's in stage 3 or stage 4 or metastatic breast cancer. And that quite often is deadly. So there is still a lot of need out there. And our Tri-State, we're going to lose about one thousand each year to breast cancer. So, we need to band together and do what we can, raise more money to fund the research. 75% stays here, but 25% goes to our national organization and funds research and Komen is the world's largest non-profit provider of breast cancer research."

Amy Mangold: "Alright, very important cause. Very important to help. Thank you so much for being with us, Sheila. We will be broadcasting live. The live show from 8 to 9 that Sunday morning on WEHT and we will also air tape-delayed that evening on Local 7 WTVW."

(This story was originally published on September 14, 2017)


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