GREENSBORO, N.C. — Every year in North Carolina about 5,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.
The good news in this is more women are surviving.
According to a study by UNC’s School of Medicine 80 % of women live more than 10 years after diagnosis.
Wendy Burns a breast Cancer survivor, is supporting women in the Triad through exercise.
Burns has laced up her sneaks 25 years in a row for Cone Health’s Women’s Only 5k.
She ran before her cancer diagnosis, showed support during chemo, and continues to run now that she’s cancer-free.
Burns said is it all started in the ’90s when some of her Greensboro Jazzercise members were Cone Health employees.
“They were looking for something to warm up the crowd,” Burns said.
Her members had taken part in the 5k for years and asked Burns to step into the race as well.
“It was a very small event the stage was just a little wooden platform that was only like three inches off the ground,” Burns said.
Through the years of waking the crowd up, Burns saw the charity race grow into a sea of pink with more than 2,000 breast cancer advocates.
“I was really interested in it because my mother is a breast cancer survivor so it hits close to home,” Burns said.
It really hit burns in the chest in 2009 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself.
“It took on a whole new meaning that October I was in the middle of my chemotherapy,” Bruns said. “I actually had chemo Thursday and warmed up the race Saturday morning. I didn’t do the walk that day.”
Burns's cancer battles opened her eyes to why the need for the walk is there.
“While I was lucky enough to have insurance that could cover and help me through this, the toll it takes on you not only physically mentally emotionally but economically is staggering,” Burns said. “For us to have those fundraisers and mammography funds for women to lean into if they need it is such a wonderful thing.”
Fees associated with the race cover the cost of breast cancer screenings through Cone Health for women who can't afford it or are uninsured.
It also helps offset the cost of the everyday needs of breast cancer patients right here in the Triad through their Alight program.
There’s still time to register here.