On Saturday, October 15, 2011 thousands of pink-clad people, and a pink poodle, came out to Bayfront Park for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Susan G. Komen for the Cure “ranked #1 as the most valued non-profit brand and the charity that most people are likely to donate money” as reported by Harris Interactive in 2010. In 2011, Susan G. Komen for the Cure granted $58 million to innovative breast cancer research.
Research is particularly important to two sisters who were among the racers on that Saturday. Debbie and Annette Carrion-Pedroso, and Annette’s son, Franklin Espinal, Jr. who is a student at Miami-Dade College, came out to support cancer research in honor of their sister, Gina Carrion, who recently passed on July 29, 2011 at the age of 56. Though Gina began with colon cancer that continued to spread through-out her body, her family recognizes the necessity in supporting innovative cancer research and survivors who participate in the race.
Debbie Carrion stated that “it is an emotional experience to be among so many women, so many who have accomplished a lot, are in remission, and surviving.” They enjoyed being able to share in those success stories. Annette Carrion-Pedroso participates annually with colleagues from the American Airlines team. She believes that the Race for the Cure is an opportunity to show support and acknowledge the amount of people who are affected with breast cancer in Miami-Dade County in addition to raising necessary funds to continue research efforts. Franklin Espinal, Jr. committed to actually running the race and was able to complete it in 45 minutes. Franklin says that he plans to participate again and encourages other college students to participate as well.
The “average annual count” of the incidence of female breast cancer for all races (including Hispanic) in Florida is 12,924 over a rate period from 2004-2008 as reported by the National Cancer Institute, State Cancer Profiles. Miami –Dade County reports 1,466 of those incidents. That incident rate may have changed since 2008 and there may be more women not accounted for who have not gone for breast cancer screening. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure promotes breast cancer screening and education to all women. The annual Race for the Cure is a major event to promote awareness in Miami-Dade County. More information and education is available at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and the race is open to any and everyone to register and become active.
Franklin Espinal, Jr. agrees that “If they keep doing fundraisers that raise awareness and generate a lot of donations, the money for research will eventually pay off to find cures and save the boobies.”