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The Expert: Linda Hutkin-Slade
Celebrating her 60th birthday and five-year cancer-free anniversary, Linda Hutkin-Slade views 2016 as a year of milestones. To honor both accomplishments, the licensed clinical social worker set out to participate in a 5K every month, calling it her mission to complete “60K for 60.” As a breast cancer survivor, the California resident carefully selects the races she participates in, reviewing the associated charity partners with a critical eye. Learn about her picks for events with a focus on fighting the disease—and the questions she hopes all participants ask before signing up to race.
Races To Fight Breast Cancer
OPERATION D’FEET CANCER
The D’Feet Breast Cancer 5K & 10K events help local medical centers provide free health services, mammograms and follow-up care to uninsured and underserved women. Furthering the idea that knowledge is power, funds raised also support preventative care through community outreach and breast health education programs.
OCT. 22, GALVESTON, TX
With almost 300 events, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer series is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation. Proceeds go toward funding the American Cancer Society and providing access to mammograms. Our expert Hutkin-Slade loves participating: “It’s an emotional experience to be part of the survivor ceremonies.”
MULTIPLE DATES, MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
FOR THE CURE
With a ton of cities on the map hosting a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K, nearly any runner can find one nearby. Hutkin-Slade believes the beauty of this series is that the bulk of the money raised stays in the host community. For example, in San Diego, more than $1 million annually goes to financial assistance, patient navigation and other much-needed services in that city.
MULTIPLE DATES, MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
ALL FOR LOVE
The Walk With Love 5K is an annual run/walk established to support breast cancer research programs through the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Offering both a local and virtual event, participants can join the fun from any location. With a family- and dog-friendly course, your whole crew can help.
MAY 2017, PACIFIC PALISADES, CA
The Donna Foundation’s Finish Breast Cancer lineup is nothing short of impressive. Although a variety of distances are offered, including a 5K, 10K and 13.1 miles, the weekend-long event boasts the only marathon in the U.S. dedicated to breast cancer research, awareness and care. Participants enjoy beachside vibes in sunny Florida.
FEB. 10–12, 2017, JACKSONVILLE, FL
Swing your hips and shuffle your feet through the three finish lines of the LoCoMotion 3-Day Breast Cancer Event, with a different 10-mile challenge each day on three different islands along the South Carolina coast.With dollars dedicated to the Carolina Cups, a nonprofit public charity funding breast cancer education, screening, treatment and clinical research, you can feel good about asking friends and family for donations.
SEPTEMBER 2017, COASTAL SOUTH CAROLINA
Don’t be afraid to investigate the charity hosting the event. With resources like Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org) and GuideStar (guidestar.org), you can easily find the organization’s overall rating and financial information online.
When choosing a breast cancer event to give your time and money to, Hutkin-Slade advises asking five important questions:
- How much money will go to breast cancer programs?
- What programs will the money fund?
- Who is sponsoring the event and do they increase women’s risk of breast cancer?
- Does the event present a one-sided picture of breast cancer?
- Is the messaging positive and inclusive? For example, races that foster a “fight like a girl” mentality can be problematic. For the 155,000 people living with metastatic breast cancer, the motto might imply they didn’t try hard enough in a situation that’s out of their control