The race is the organization's largest fund-raiser.
By MARALINE KUBIK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Last year, 400,000 American women and 400 American men died from breast cancer.
The best defense against the disease is early detection. But not everyone can afford a doctor's visit.
Last year 200 area women couldn't afford mammograms but received the test free of charge, thanks to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society's BEST program. BEST, based at the American Cancer Society's Canfield office, is fully funded by the Komen Foundation.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation funds breast cancer education, screenings and treatment for the uninsured and underinsured and research through several grant recipients.
The organization's largest fund-raiser, Race for the Cure, takes place in Cleveland Saturday.
As a result of fund-raising activities last year, the organization provided more than $513,000 in grants for breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs throughout Northeast Ohio. Organizations in the Mahoning Valley received about 20 percent -- $103,084.
In addition to the American Cancer Society in Canfield, which received a $30,000 grant to fund the BEST program, area grant recipients were: Columbiana County Health Department in Lisbon, Forum Health in Youngstown, Women's Health Advantage of Youngstown and the YWCAs in Youngstown and Salem.
Columbiana County Health Department and Women's Health Advantage use the grants to provide breast exams and mammograms. In 2001, they received grants of $14,800 and $11,322, respectively. Forum Health uses its $1,790 grant to fund clinical training in lymphedema treatment; the YWCA of Salem's $14,372 grant funds an outreach breast-health education program and links patients to qualified health-care providers; the YWCA of Youngstown's $30,800 grant funds outreach education and early detection programs, patient transportation and follow-up support.
This year, the Komen Foundation's goal is to raise $1 million to fund cancer-related programs in Northeast Ohio: 75 percent of funds raised in Races for the Cure throughout the country stay in the communities where they are collected; the remaining 25 percent is used to fund the Komen Foundation's national grant program.
Participants in the Northeast Ohio race -- some 25,000 men, women and children are expected -- will converge on Voinovich Park near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame beginning at 7 a.m. The 5K race/walk will begin at 8 a.m., the one-mile fun walk will begin at 10 a.m., the awards ceremony will be at 8:45 a.m. and the survivors ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m.
Free bus rides to the event will leave from J.C. Penney stores at Southern Park Mall, Eastwood Mall and in Calcutta.
Local sponsors are Schwebel's Bread & amp; Buns, Humility of Mary Health Partners, The Vindicator and Forum Health Cancer Care Center.
For more information, call (216) 791-2873 or visit www.neohiorace.org.
The foundation has raised more than $450 million since it was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at age 36.
The Race for the Cure has been held in Cleveland since 1994.