On Sunday, Oct. 27, the American Cancer Society held its Making Strides Against Break Cancer Walk at Johnson Park in Piscataway, NJ. The event also concluded Kean University's month of Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., members of the Kean community and others walked to broaden awareness of the work being done to combat breast cancer and to lend support to those fighting it.
Kean students met at the park at 9 a.m. to prepare, and those utilizing transportation from the university to Johnson Park gathered at the Kean Union Campus at 8 a.m.
The morning began with rain in the forecast, but nonetheless the hundreds that came to show their support only became more energized as the weather continued to grow worse. A DJ stage lit up the cloudy morning and poignant music pulsated through the park for miles.
That sentiment was echoed throughout the day. What began as light rain became a downpour before the first hour of the walk, but heads were still held high as everyone marched on undeterred. The sense of community was palpable.
James Robinson, a resident of Piscataway, said, "The event means so much to the entire community. There are people here from all over, but so many I recognize are local. I think it's so important that the community gets together to be involved with such an important event. We all want to contribute and to let survivors and those fighting right now know they're not alone."
Many from the Kean community joined in the walk. This was a stirring reminder that the community that came together to raise Breast Cancer awareness and to contribute for research and treatment funding consisted of dedicated people from all walks of life. Participants came from all over central New Jersey, in this case, survivors, family of survivors, and many others concerned with fighting against the disease made their presence known.
Throughout the month of fundraising, Kean Cougars Breast Cancer t-shirts and hoodies were offered to attendees (at $10 and $25 per item, respectively). Also, 100 percent of the proceeds of those sales benefit the American Cancer Society. Those t-shirts and hoodies remain available for purchase, through the Center for Leadership and Service, located in the Miron Student Center, Room 219.
Today about half of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. reach out to the American Cancer Society for assistance, according to their site. Donations contribute to "groundbreaking new research," and services as well as information for women diagnosed, including access to mammograms.
The American Cancer Society estimates that this year alone, their efforts have helped and will continue to help over 2.9 million survivors.
As of this publication, the Kean University team for Making Strides has raised $6,330 - far eclipsing their target of $5,000 by the end of October. In addition to in-person donations, contributions can still be made at their site or by purchasing a t-shirt or hoodie through the Center for Leadership and Service. All are encouraged to help them continue past their goal. Kean Universities efforts toward Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society, changes and saves lives every day.