“Pink Army had more participants than ever so it’s going to be a big check,” Palm Coast’s Cindi Lane told the city council this morning as she introduced the organizers of Florida Hospital Flagler’s Pink Army Run. That’s the annual October event that raises money and awareness to battle breast cancer, the most common cancer among women.
Palm Coast teams up with the hospital every year for the 5K Pink Army Run and Walk (one of the eight events in Palm Coast’s Running Series), which draws participants of all ages—from toddlers pushed in their strollers to octogenarians still pushing themselves past finish lines, and of course numerous participants who have been diagnosed with cancer, are battling it, or have survived it.
Two years ago some 600 runners took part in the Pink Army Run. In October, more than 1,000 runners did so. The net proceeds: $13,152.
The money will go to the Florida Hospital Flagler Cancer Fund. It will help defray the costs of mammograms and other related costs for individuals not yet protected by insurance.
Tony Papandrea, who chairs the Florida Hospital Foundation board, thanked the city in a brief check-presentation during this morning’s council meeting and spoke appreciatively of “the hugs that I get from the women” helped by the cancer fund. “When they put their arms around you and say you saved my life, that’s worth every penny,” Papandrea said.
Pink Army 5K Chairwoman Helga van Eckert, executive director of the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity, sent her congratulations after the presentation.
“Community events like the hospital’s Pink Army Run/Walk are a great way to inform our residents of the importance of early detection, as well as raise the money needed to provide free exams and mammograms,” van Eckert said. Referring to Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation Executive Director John Subers, she said he and the hospital staff “pulled together a great team, and I’m honored to have been part of it.”
The 2015 Pink Army 5K is scheduled for Oct. 11.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer in 2011 (the last year for which complete numbers are available) was diagnosed among 220,097 women and 2,078 men. Breast cancer took the lives of 40,931 women and 443 men. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women, and the second-most common cause of death from cancer among women of other races.