EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville Komen’s More Than Pink Walk is less than two weeks away, and Sheila Seiler joined Eyewitness News’ Kelly Austin to talk about the upcoming event.
The More Than Pink Walk is set for Sunday, Sept. 29th.
Kelly Austin: Welcome back to First at 4. I’m Kelly Austin. You may already have the date saved, September 29th for the Susan G Komen More Than Pink Walk which is a week from Sunday. Just a week from Sunday. Our guest today is Sheila Seiler, the executive director of the Susan G Komen of Evansville Tristate. Welcome Sheila.
Sheila Seiler: Thank you for having me.
Kelly Austin: Now, you all have an exciting event coming up on the 29th.
Sheila Seiler: Yes. We are so excited about the event this year because we transitioned from A Race For The Cure to a More Than Pink Walk. So, we have a lot more exciting activities planned, they’ll be a lot more color involved. And we’re inviting people to stay after the walk this year because we’ll have entertainment on the main stage this year and we’ll also have food trucks.
Kelly Austin: Wow. This is a big event.
Sheila Seiler: It is a big event. We usually have about 5,000 people. It is our largest event of the year and it’s what fuels our budget to be able to provide for services and for research that we do here in the Tri-State.
Kelly Austin: OK. With the dollars coming in, how much of that stays in the Tri-State area.
Sheila Seiler: Well the awesome thing about our affiliate is that up to 75% of what we raise here, stays here. And it provides for services like mammograms, or diagnostic tests. Or actual surgery, chemotherapy for a breast cancer patient. We have a new program with non-medical services that can help a breast cancer survivor with some non-medical costs as well. And even though we only 25%, only give I say 25% to research. We are still the largest breast cancer research provider in the world.
Kelly Austin: Wow. The research they are putting a lot of money into now is the metastatic breast cancer?
Sheila Seiler: Absolutely. It’s very, very exciting because metastatic breast cancer is the cancer that kills most women. It is stage four. It is the last stage. And some women start out in stage four and some women transition to stage four. But it is what will eventually bring about the death of a person who is a survivor. So, Komen just nationally released all of their research projects just this week on Monday night. Out of 60 grants they awarded this year, 38 are for metastatic breast cancer research specific. So, that means 17 and a half million dollars in to metastatic breast cancer research to find what it is and why those women are going into stage four and what is killing them.
Kelly Austin: And what exactly is metastatic breast cancer?
Sheila Seiler: It is different for some people. Like I said, some people start off in stage four, meaning they have the breast involved along with the lymph nodes and probably at least two other organs as well and some people progress to metastatic. Meaning they started off with breast cancer, it wasn’t in the lymph nodes, but it could have been in the lymph nodes but since that time it has spread into to one, two, or more organs.
Kelly Austin: So now we know for those who didn’t know. You told me earlier they earlier you get breast cancer, the less chance for survival.
Sheila Seiler: Unfortunately, the younger a person is when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, the less likely they are to live their natural lifetime. And we don’t know why that is and that is why so much money is going into metastatic breast cancer research right now. Because it is the younger women that are getting metastatic breast cancer. Those women who are diagnosed in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, they have a 99% chance of living out the rest of their natural lifetime. It’s the women who are diagnosed under the age of 40 who are really at risk. So it’s so important if you’re not eligible to get a mammogram yet, if you’re not 35 or 40 for your baseline mammogram, it is so important to know what is normal for you and get it checked out by your medical provider.
Kelly Austin: Yes. Thank you so much Sheila for coming in and telling us about the exciting More Than Pink Walk coming up Sunday, September 29th at the same place like last year, the Eastland Mall. Registration starts at 8 am and the walk stars at 9:30 am. And you can go onto komenevansville.org/walk to register right there.
Sheila Seiler: Thank you for having me today.
Kelly Austin: Thank you so much.
This story was originally published on September 18, 2019