This year, the annual Alaska Run for Women took place on June 11. This annual event's mission is "to raise money for and awareness of breast cancer and women’s health, and to showcase the talents of Alaska’s women athletes." Each year this event serves as a vehicle for fundraising, participation, awareness and competition, and grant making to organizations concerned with breast cancer research, education, outreach, prevention and early detection.
Organized by a strong group of volunteers – a board of directors and a race committee – the Run generates a unique sense of camaraderie and sisterhood. Competitors include runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, many sporting cards honoring a loved one who has survived breast cancer or in memory of those who have not.
This year was the 24th annual Cancer Walk for Women in Anchorage. Amongst the thousands of people walking in honor or in memory of a loved one were four AK Child & Family staff members and a student. The student was walking on honor of his mother and our amazing staff were there to help support him in his 5 mile walk for her. The walk gathered many people from all around Alaska in support of the courageous women they know and love who have had to hear the word “cancer”. These women are able to continue their fight with the over $66,000 raised from this one event! Watching our student run through the finish line for his mom is something our staff will never forget and were proud to be a part of. The women in Alaska affected by cancer are our mothers, sister, aunts, wives, and daughters, they have living to continue--Alaskan living! We are here to find a cure so that nothing, not even cancer gets in the way of their Alaskan life.
Staff member Vanessa Walluk coordinated the AK Child & Family team. "The highlight of the event for me was hearing the phone call made to the mom we walked for (a strong woman who beat cancer 5 times)! The student explained that he and 4 other staff walked 5 miles to support her and instantly started smiling and choking back tears and just kept saying 'I love you' to her repeatedly."
Since its start in 1993, the event has generated $4 million in cash and donated mammograms, all of which has been distributed to organizations associated with breast cancer. The donated mammograms are given to low-income women through a program administered by a local non-profit.
We are so proud of all who have fought the battle with breast cancer and look forward to supporting research for a cure in years to come!