More Than Pink Walk Unites Supportive Community
Nov 03, 2023

More Than Pink Walk Unites Supportive Community

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas – Thousands of participants walked one-and-a-half miles to fundraise for breast cancer research.

Barton Creek Square was a sea of pink on Oct. 28, as fighters, survivors and supporters attended Susan G. Komen’s 2023 Central Texas More Than Pink Walk.

As of Saturday, donations topped $453,000 toward the foundation’s goal of $600,000 to fund Susan G. Komen’s research, care and action plans.

Komen Central Texas director Monique Stensrud said this event created a strong community for those impacted by the disease.

“It’s really beautiful to come together as a community in this way in a celebration of survivorship and in honor of people that we’ve lost,” Stensrud said.

Breast cancer survivors and their family members and friends gather at the stage during the opening ceremony of the Susan G. Komen Central Texas More Than Pink Walk in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 28, 2023. (Lane Rice/Reporting Texas TV)

The organization previously organized a five kilometer run called Race for the Cure but shifted to the More Than Pink Walk after the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “I like the walk a little bit more because it’s much more open and inclusive,” Stensrud said.

“Oftentimes, if you’re in treatment, a one-and-a-half mile walk can be quite taxing, and certainly a 5K run is out of the question, so what I like about the walk is that you can do it if you’re in treatment.”

Attendees wearing matching t-shirts, tutus and pink accessories walked the course despite on-and-off rain showers.

“There were just a lot of people out, cheering everyone on,” volunteer Bryn Palmer said. “You could feel the energy and the love in the atmosphere. It was really nice to be a part of it.”

Sisters from the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority joined volunteer Bryn Palmer (second from left) at the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk. (Lane Rice/Reporting Texas TV)

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is the world’s leading breast cancer organization, investing more than $1 billion in research. The foundation’s website said seventy percent of Komen-funded research projects focus on metastatic and other aggressive forms of breast cancer.

Komen also provides patient support services and advocates for public policy change for the breast cancer community.

Komen’s Patient Care Center promotes health equity and accessibility of high-quality care, providing resources for patient navigation, screening and diagnostic services and financial assistance.

“Susan G. Komen means so much to me,” Sherry Byrd said. “I was under insured, and I reached out to Susan G. Komen and they paid for every step of the way.”

Byrd, a hairdresser for 30 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and received financial support from the foundation, She walked Saturday as a breast cancer survivor as a way to show her thanks. Family and friends joined her on the course.

“I am so grateful for Susan G. Komen,” Byrd said. “She paved the way for everybody that suffers from breast cancer.”

Attendees wait at the starting line of the 2023 Central Texas More Than Pink Walk. (Lane Rice/Reporting Texas TV)

Susan G. Komen’s Breast Care Helpline provides resources for the breast cancer community to utilize. The helpline, 1-877 GO KOMEN (465-6636), connects the community to resources including emotional support, local clinical trials, low cost mammograms and financial assistance.

Attendees of the Komen More Than Pink Walk rallied together through the rain with strength, smiles and tears, fighting with inspiring cheer for a world without breast cancer.

“People wouldn’t be alive without this community and people coming together to raise the money,” Stensrud said. “That is like my greatest accomplishment is seeing those survivors walk towards the stage.”