In 1984, Massachusetts cancer survivor Margery “Margie” Gould Rath wanted to find a way to celebrate fellow cancer survivors by raising funds for the American Cancer Society. Working with a committee of cancer survivors and volunteers, she created a “move-along-a-thon” called Making Strides Against Cancer to bring people together in an event to call attention to ve the fight against cancer. The first event, held in Boston, drew 200 participants and became a yearly event in the city.
In September 1993, the event officially became known as the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
walk, attracting 4,000 walkers at events in Boston and Manchester, New Hampshire. Since then, Margie’s vision has inspired nearly 7 million walkers to participate in Making Strides events in more than 200 communities across the country, raising more than $400 million to fight breast cancer. Margie continued to volunteer for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program until she ultimately lost her battle with cancer in 2001.
Margie’s legacy lives on, reminding the world that everyone can help save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays! On Saturday, October 22, thousands of people will gather at The Avenue Viera to walk. Local businesses, as well as other clubs and organizations, have formed teams, raised funds, and plan to walk in Viera, where all donations will be presented to The American Cancer Society. Registration will begin at 6 a.m. and the walk will begin at 8 a.m.
Those walking have their own reasons for supporting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and are all unique and special. This event offers the opportunity to not only honor breast cancer survivors and remember people we have lost, but also to raise funds and awareness to help save lives and create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays!
The Making Strides event is not a race; it is a celebration of survivorship, an occasion to express hope, and a shared goal to end a disease that threatens the lives of so many people. Raising funds for a Making Strides event helps local cancer patients with transportation to doctor appointments and treatment sessions, supplies for home care, and prosthetics. It also helps in educating women to live healthy lives to reduce their risk for breast cancer, and to get screening tests such as mammograms to find breast cancer early, when it is easiest to treat. The American Cancer Society also helps people facing breast cancer get well by providing information, day-to-day help, and emotional support. to guide them through every step of their breast cancer experience.
In 2010, more than 100,000 walkers across Florida joined the American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer. At the Avenues of Viera, over 4,300 Brevard County residents participated in one of the 140 events nationwide. Here, on the Space Coast, $360,000 was raised while nationally, more than $6 million was raised through Making Strides events: one donation at a time. More than a walk, the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a powerful and inspiring event that unites communities to celebrate people who have battled cancer, raise awareness about the steps we can take to help prevent the disease, and raise money to find cures and support programs and services for those facing the disease.
The 2011 event will take place on Saturday, October 22. Participants are asked to meet at the Avenues of Viera, where they will begin their walk. Those unable to join the walk may make donations either on-line or by mail to: 1260 US Highway 1, Ste 201, Rockledge, Florida 32955. Visit www.cancer.org/strides online to learn more and/or help the American Cancer Society continue making strides and saving lives.