Thousands of runners turned Daniel Island pink on Saturday to celebrate survival and remember those lost to breast cancer in the 20th Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure.
Last year’s race raised more than $800,000 to help fund examinations and to provide education on the disease. Komen officials set their sights even higher this year with hopes of raising $1 million for the cause.
Whether or not the event met this year’s goal was not immediately clear Saturday afternoon, as race co-chair Caitlin Ramsey said officials were still tallying up the numbers.
Of the money raised, 75 percent will remain in the Lowcountry with 25 percent going toward Komen’s national affiliate for research and other efforts.
Attendees at Saturday’s 5K donned pink tutus and wigs, passed out pink carnations and wore “Survivor” caps with pride. Old Fort firefighters Bobby Wright, DJ Hanley and a number of other first responders ran the race in full gear — all to raise awareness about a disease that strikes 1.3 million men and women a year, with no known cure.
With pink boxing gloves and a matching robe, Stephanie Ravenel, 44, of Summerville, looked the part of a fighter. Ravenel said she ran on Saturday in support of her mother Blondell F. Jamison, a 5-year survivor.
Jamison was 63 years old when a spot on a routine mammogram gave her doctors’ pause.
She raced to the emergency room months later after noticing bleeding to her breast. Ravenel said that’s when doctors decided on an official diagnosis: Stage 1 breast cancer.
“At first she was depressed. Her mood swings would get really bad,” Ravenel said of her mother’s initial reaction to the news. “As a family we had to pay less attention to the depression, and focus on her treatment and moving forward.”
Ravenel said her mother was the first in their family to be diagnosed with cancer. The family received some comfort in doctors’ beliefs that Jamison’s case wasn’t hereditary, she said.
After three surgeries, Jamison opted to have a mastectomy. She’s maintained regular checkups in the years since beating cancer.
Meredith Allyn, 28, of Mt. Pleasant, said she attended Saturday’s race because her grandmother wasn’t fortunate enough to survive. The woman succumbed to her cancer within two months of being diagnosed, Allyn said.
“She lived in Maryland, so I didn’t even get a chance to visit her before she died,” Allyn said. “If I could, I would just tell her that I love her, and that we’re here for her.”
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.