More Than A Race

When runners cross the finish line at the 20th Annual Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure, they’ll be doing more than completing a 5K. They’ll be helping Novant Health get mammograms to many women who otherwise might not have them.

Novant Health, in partnership with Mecklenburg Radiology Associates, is a presenting sponsor of the Oct. 1 race, held at Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte. In addition to supporting cancer research, money raised through the event is used by organizations such as Novant Health to provide breast cancer screenings. Last year, 550 women received screenings paid for by Komen dollars.

“There are women that fall through the cracks of receiving screening or diagnostic care and the funds that are raised they come back to our community to meet that need,” said Maria Kuklinski-Long, Novant Health cancer program manager.

“We work together with our Novant Health breast centers and Mecklenburg Radiology to have a large presence at the race, and the mobile mammography unit will be there,” she said. “The day of the race we will do mammograms on the mobile unit. For women who don’t want to do them there, we will sign them up for a mammogram and provide information for women who are uninsured on how to receive a mammogram under our Komen grant.”

The goal: Screen as many people as possible. Catch any cancer as early as possible. “Then treat it and allow them to have a healthy, normal, productive life,” Kuklinski-Long said. Novant Health will have representatives from Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center – all locations where Komen dollars go to work for screening and diagnostic mammograms.

For the thousands of attendees, the Komen Charlotte Race for a Cure is more than an opportunity to raise needed funds – it’s a celebration of survivorship. From giveaways to activities to a survivorship breakfast, the event offers encouragement and the opportunity to hear stories of triumph.

“Survivors are front-and-center at the event,” Kuklinski-Long said. “It’s just fabulous.”