Breast cancer. Two simple words, which when combined strike fear into the person hearing them as a diagnosis. And unfortunately according to a 2016 study, South Dakota was leading the country in the number of cases being diagnosed. That is the bad news. The good news is that women are being diagnosed earlier thanks to increased awareness.

That increased awareness, as well as progress made in lowering the percentage of deaths due to breast cancer (down 39% from 1989 to 2015) along with funding of research in the quest for a cure, are all goals the Susan G. Komen Foundation actively pursues.

Within my circle of friends, there is not one single person who has not had contact with or personally known someone with breast cancer. I lost a dear friend to it several years ago, had another friend battle it and win and currently have a friend who was just diagnosed with metastatic (Stage IV) breast cancer. We've had women here at work and spouses of other colleagues who have gone through the heart-wrenching journey.

The numbers are staggering, the victories-joyous, the losses-devastating. The Susan G. Komen Foundation's purpose is to wrap its arms around those navigating a breast cancer diagnosis, to advocate, educate, encourage and celebrate the successes.

You can support their efforts by joining the Race for the Cure on Sunday, September 23, at Falls Park here in Sioux Falls with registration beginning at 7 AM.  You can form a team or fund-raise, in advance, on your own. You can volunteer or become a sponso, and you can register online, or on the day of the event.

The Goodroad Band will be playing live music, there will be a Zumba warm-up, a survivor parade and then the Family Fun 1 mile walk begins. The complete schedule can be found at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Sioux Falls.

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