By Crystal Thompson
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was created in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister Susan Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36.
On Saturday, May 19, at the state capitol in Helena, women and men from across Montana will meet to participate in the state's 7th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®. The race is for breast cancer survivors, families and friends who want to help support breast cancer research and development.
Raela Hulett, Havre resident and area team captain for the race, said that it will be especially easy for Hi-Line residents to participate in this year's race thanks to the support of Havre Ford, who is sponsoring a bus to take participants to Helena for the race. The bus is from PS Charter Montana in Chinook, and comfortably seats 47 passengers. It also has a television and bathrooms, said Hulett, who hopes the bus is full of participants this year.
Hulett said that when she took over as team captain for the Hi-Line area, she was reluctant to participate in the race itself. A state coordinator told her that to be truly effective at her job, she had to see first hand what the Race for the Cure® was all about. Hulett traveled to Helena for her first race a little reluctantly, but found out that the event was more than just a race. Hulett said that it isn't necessary to be athletic to participate in the Race for the Cure®; she added that she was pleased to find out that running was not a requirement.
"A lot of people just walk," Hulett said.
Although the race course is approved for runners by USA Track and Field, anyone can participate, including walkers, joggers and people in wheelchairs. Runners have the option of being timed as well. Young and old come out every year for the event, to help support breast cancer funding for research and preventative care and to celebrate the lives of those who have suffered with breast cancer.
Breast cancer survivors who wish to be recognized at the race are provided with a pink cap and T-shirt. Other participants are given Race For The Cure® T-shirts and are given the chance to recognize those special people in their lives who have been affected by breast cancer. Backsigns with the words "In Celebration of" and "In Memory of" are available to race participants to wear in recognition of friends and family who have battled the disease. During a survivor recognition ceremony held after the race, breast cancer survivors are brought together on the capitol steps for a photo.
Kayleen Hockett, of Havre, has been participating in the race for a few years now, and is continually encouraging people she knows to participate and become part of the cause. Hockett said that the Race for the Cure® is a fun event for everyone regardless of age or physical ability. She said that there is usually entertainment or a speaker at the ceremony following the race, and that food is provided for all participants. Albertson's and Wheat Montana provide the refreshments. A trolley is also available to shuttle participants to and from the capitol and registration site. There is always someone to direct you where to go and what to do, said Hockett.
Hulett said that the race is usually a very emotional event, which brings together many people whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. She encourages everyone to participate in this year's race.
Registration fee for the race is $18. The bus to Helena will be picking up participants in Chinook (PS Charter Bus Service), Havre (Havre Ford) and Big Sandy (Q's Cafe) on May 19 at 4:00, 4:30 and 5:15 a.m. respectively. Anyone riding the bus will be preregistered upon arriving at the race. For more information or to be part of the Race for the Cure®, contact Raela Hulett at 265-4097.