By ELIZABETH GOLDEN
Susan G. Komen Kansas is gearing up for its second annual Race for the Cure in Hays.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1,990 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Kansas in 2012, and 370 of those women died.
"The primary cause of the foundation is to cure breast cancer and help promote prevention and education all over the world," said Jennifer Teget, co-chairwoman. "The goal is to try to end the disease, so they really reach out to all communities."
The races in Wichita and Hays are the only races in the state but together serve more than 100 counties.
Last year, 1,677 participated in the Hays race. Teget said 158 ZIP codes and 12 states were represented. A total of $110,000 was raised.
Of the proceeds, 75 percent is used to enhance the community, while 25 percent is dedicated for research.
"What we do is provide grants to different organizations that request the money," Teget said.
Hays Medical Center Breast Care Center was awarded a $49,710 grant from Komen Kansas in 2013. The grant money provides funds for a breast health nurse navigator, who provides education and comprehensive care for rural women at high risk for breast cancer.
"In southwest Kansas, the Komen foundation has been training naturally Spanish speaking individuals to do breast health seminars," Teget said. "So much gets lost in translation when seminars are given by people who weren't naturally Spanish speaking."
The foundation also funds the oncology department at HaysMed, which participates in several area outreach programs.
"They go to a smaller community and help folks with any questions they may have about early detection," Teget said.
Teget and Nancy Harman, also a co-chairwoman, have been planning the Race for the Cure since October.
Last year, approximately 100 survivors attended. Survivors are the only ones who wear pink T-shirts, Teget said.
"Everyone else dresses in costume and creates team T-shirts," she said. "There's always a lot of pink."
The race begins at 7:15 a.m. May 10 at Hays Municipal Park. Children and adult events will take place. A special buffet-style survivors breakfast will be from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Survivors can come and go as they please.
For more information or to register, visit komenmidks.org.