We think of autumn colors as orange and red and gold, yet it’s also the season of pink. For years, Susan G. Komen has organized a walk/run fundraiser to find a cure for breast cancer and this weekend it’s happening again with More Than Pink Walk.
“All of the money we raise in the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk in Milwaukee stays in southeastern Wisconsin. We are raising funds that will help hundreds of women in our area get help with their diagnosis, treatment, and medications and much more,” says Nikki Panico, executive director of Komen Wisconsin.
The Walk is Sunday, Sept. 26. It starts at 9 a.m. on the Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest) grounds and continues along the lakefront. This year, the theme is “One” and offers two options: participate in person or raise funds remotely through the new “Walk Where You Are Anytime” program.
“What if together as one community we raised one more dollar, touched one more life, helped one more person, lived to see one more day, brought us one step closer to ending breast cancer. It really has been a rallying cry to help us come together on this one mission to end breast cancer. I love it so much,” says Panico.
Every year, 4,700 people in Wisconsin – both women and men – will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women will be diagnosed during her lifetime. And because there are so many different kinds of breast cancer, incredible amounts of research is needed.
“That’s part of the reason Susan G. Komen is committed to research as one of its core pillars, because we have to find cures for all these different kinds of breast cancer,” says Panico. “One big focus right now is metastatic breast cancer, which means breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. We want to help people with MBC live longer lives.”
In the past two years, the organization helped more than 1,500 people with financial assistance for diagnostics, treatments and medical expenses that totaled over $750,000. Because so many people put off mammograms during COVID, the need for help now due to the exam delays is greater than ever.
“Imagine being told you have cancer and the only support groups available are online. You can't even hug someone who is going through the same thing,” says Panico. “Add parenting, working remote and all of the other COVID distancing rules onto it and it's overwhelming.”
To register for the in-person walk as a group or individual, or to find out more about starting an online campaign, go to www.komen.org/southeastwiwalk.
"The most special and meaningful part of the Walk is the moments when we honor survivors, as well as those who have lost their battle with breast cancer,” says Panico. “There is a flood of emotion for so many of us who knew these extraordinary women.”
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.