For 20 years, people all around the Tri-State have been gathering on a weekend in September to take bold steps in the fight against breast cancer.
This year, we are gathering again for the Race for the Cure on September 24.
Sheila Seiler, the Executive Director for Komen Evansville Tri-State joined us on Wednesday.
Click here to register for Race for the Cure.
Here’s the transcription from our interview on Wednesday with Sheila Seiler:
SK: Sheila Seiler, thank you so much for being here. 20 years!
SS: It doesn’t hardly seem possible but it has been.
SK: Tell us how much has been accomplished in those 20 years?
SS: You know, it’s amazing. In the last 20 years, we’ve been able to give back over $8.3 million into the Tri-State. Breast health services – paying for mammograms, diagnostic tests, ultrasounds, MRI’s, and treatment for breast cancer – all for people who are uninsured or underinsured. Let me just say that most of our Tri-State right now is considered underinsured.
SK: Is that right? So do you have a lot of people coming and using those services?
SS: Yes we do and I don’t think that’s going to change.
SK: And I also say, as someone who has been through it myself, the awareness, the education, the comraderie is innumerable…
SS: I think we’re making some bold changes and we’re making some bold steps. We’re finding more cancers earlier so we have more women living from breast cancer instead of dying. So that’s always a huge goal. Also, 25% of what we raise goes to research and Komen is the world’s largest non-profit provider of breast cancer research.
SK: Every major accomplishment in breast cancer research has been funded at least in part by Komen.
SS: Exactly. So some of the things that have happened in the last 35 years are amazing – the last 20 years here in the Tri-State. Since you and I have been diagnosed, the treatments are much more personalized and much more targeted. The side effects aren’t as bad. So yes, more women are living.
SK: Unfortunately there are some dear people who are no longer here and the race does so much to keep their memory alive.
SS: Until we find a cure, until there’s nobody left to walk in that survivor parade, we’re going to be here. And every step of the way, we’re going to be fighting to raise money, to raise awareness, to provide services for folks who need them.
SK: And on that one Sunday, let’s tell folks where it is and where they should go.
SS: Sunday, September 24, we’re going to be at Eastland Mall again. The doors kind of open at 7 a.m. That amazing parade of pink and opening ceremony is at 8 a.m. The actual 5k race starts at 9 a.m. We start first with the timed runners, let them get a good start. Then we start with the next round of runners and the walkers. Then at 9:15 a.m. we have a one mile family fun run just around the Eastland Mall perimeter.
SK: That’s for a lot of families that can’t make the big run, a lot of survivors who can’t make it.
SS: You know, we had an 83-year-old survivor come in yesterday and say ‘I am walking that one mile.’ She was very excited.
SK: You know, the day is so emotional and so wonderful. I think that’s what brings so many people coming back every year. You get in touch with what it means to fight this disease and have the support of everyone around you.
SS: It’s very important to have the support. Unfortunately, some of our biggest teams is someone who’s just been diagnosed. And they’re surrounded by family and friends who want to support them. We’ve not been able to save everybody, but you’ll also see that our buddy Corbin will be out there in support of his mother Andrea Hoffman. We don’t have that cure yet but until we do, we’re going to keep fighting.
SK: That’s right. Is there anything new this year? Anything you want folks to know about?
SS: The Evansville Philharmonic is bringing their brass orchestra to do a fanfare to kick us off. We’re going to be honoring our very first race chairs who brought it to Evansville 20 years ago. And of course, Oncology Hematology Associates – they’ve been our sponsor for 20 years. Those doctors are amazing and we want to do something special for them.
SK: Let folks know how to register.
SS: You can register online at Komenevansville.org. All packet pickup is all next week at 4610 Vogel Rd. in between China Market. That is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday. You can register on race day too if you’d like. That’s okay. The more, the merrier.
SK: You can also find that link on Tristatehomepage.com. We’ll have our special that day, our live special from 8-9 a.m. and we’ll reair it that night.
SS: Thank you.
SK: Race for the Cure. September 24th.
(This story was originally published on September 13, 2017)