Walk-run stirs local awareness to breast cancer
Event proceeds to pay for mammograms
October 08. 2013 10:18AM
Hazel Bamberg lost her battle against breast cancer.
And while the Corsica woman was unknown to most in the Brandon area, the disease that took her life has become all too familiar to many no matter their address.
This Saturday, the Brandon Area Breast Cancer Walk-Run, which was started in Bamberg’s memory by Tryon Gym in Brandon owner T.J Barthman, will be repeated for a seventh time. Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the grounds of Brandon Valley High School, and the walk-run starts at 9:30.
“We’re doing this for a seventh year because it’s a way to give back to our community and to the women that need mammograms,” said Deb Siemens, clinic manager for Avera Medical Group McGreevy in Brandon, one of seven corporate sponsors.
Adds Barthman, “I started this in memory of Hazel. She lost the great fight but we’ve continued to do this event to help others from not losing the fight,” he said. “And the continued success and growth of it (the walk-run) has generated more and more funds for free mammograms at the Clinic.”
All proceeds raised from Saturday’s walk-run will be directed to an “angel” fund at Avera McGreevy Clinic in Brandon to provide free mammograms to those who cannot afford them.
“We’ve had a few survivors in the past that have shared their stories and told people to take advantage of mammograms,” Barthman said. “Because the importance of catching breast cancer early is the way you fight it, and when you hear stories like that, then it validates it.”
Last year’s event drew a record 276 participants, and generated enough money to fund six mammograms, Siemens said.
The goal this year, planners say, is 300.
“But it’s really not about the numbers,” Siemens stressed. “It’s about the message – making people aware and dedicating it to the women who had mammograms and found they had breast cancer.”
More than a year ago, Avera McGreevy began offering mobile mammograms once a month, so women don’t have to go to Sioux Falls for the service. Siemens said the mobile service is being utilized, averaging 10 to 13 mammograms each month.
“So it has been beneficial,” she said.
All of the funds raised at Saturday’s run-walk stay local, Barthman said.
“That’s one of the best parts of this event,” he said. “We’re not a big foundation. It’s just a small town event that we do to help our small town. It’s just for us.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: 7th Annual Brandon Area Breast Cancer Walk-Run
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 12 – Registration: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; Walk-run: 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Brandon Valley High School
WHY: Funds raised from this event support free mammograms for Brandon-area residents who may not be able to afford them.
COST: $20 (includes T-shirt and lunch buffet at Tailgators following walk-run, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
REGISTER: Call 582-369 or online at www.BrandonBreastCancerWalk.com.