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Running toward a common goal

5/11/2014

ELIZABETH GOLDEN

Daughter of Sandie Golden

Municipal Park lit up with a sea of pink as approximately 1,000 runners came to support the cause.

The second annual Race for the Cure in Hays from Susan G. Komen Kansas was held Saturday.

The goal was to raise $50,000, and event co-chairwoman Nancy Harman said they rapidly are approaching the goal.

"It's simply a great morning," Harman said. "The weather is perfect. People are here and smiling. It is truly a celebration of breast cancer survivors."

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."

Of the proceeds, 75 percent is used to enhance the community, while 25 percent is dedicated for research.

Kris Dewell, a volunteer from Hays, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.

"It was scary," she said, "but I had a really good doctor, so I figured she'd take care of it and she did."

This is her second year volunteering.

"My mother had breast cancer twice," Dewell said. "She was able to get help through Susan G. Komen, so I started my involvement through her."

Leslie Hess, also a volunteer from Hays, was diagnosed in 2009.

"I was just thankful there was a lot of research," she said. "I felt fortunate it was available. This is a great cause and it affects so many women."

Sierra Smith, 11, and Ashley Smith, 18, lost their mother, Lanita, in 2007.

"I didn't really understand," Sierra said.

Ashley is volunteering, and their dad ran for the first time in this race.

"It was shock at first," Ashley added. "After a few years, our dad met someone, and he's happy now. I'm pretty sure it's what she wanted. Our family is doing great."

All members of their team wore a shirt that read, "Dance like there is no tomorrow. Each new dawn is a reminder that everything is a new beginning. Live it to the fullest."

"She always wanted people to be happy and dance," Ashley said. "That's just how she lived."

Corey Burton, Ellis, came in first place in the 5K race.

"I think this is a great cause," he said. "A lot of people are affected by cancer. Luckily enough, my family hasn't been affected by breast cancer, but we've had other family members die from different kinds of cancer. I'm glad I can participate and show my support."