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Komen Phoenix announces honorary race chair

The Phoenix Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced Brigid Burns Tueros as its 20th Anniversary Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure Honorary Race Chair. A 6-year breast cancer survivor, Brigid’s personal journey both represents how far we’ve come and reminds us that there is still work to be done.

Diagnosed at age 29 in July 2006, Brigid found the lump after having pain in her underarm area. She had to fight with her radiologist to receive a mammogram after an ultrasound appeared normal. The resulting images led to a biopsy that revealed stage 3 breast cancer. She was immediately scheduled for a mastectomy and chemotherapy – and it was then that she scheduled something for herself, walking in her first Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure, which has been an annual tradition ever since.

“Being part of these walks and races gives me hope. I meet new people just like me and meet people who are there to support people like me. It gives me a sense of community, it inspires me and gives me newfound energy when I’m there,” said Brigid Burns Tueros, survivor and Honorary Race Chair for the 20th Anniversary Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure.

Brigid has needed this support through the years. In 2008, she was re-diagnosed – this time with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her lungs. Since that time, she has been on eight different chemotherapies in hopes of a remission that has yet to come. Since that time, she has lost two of her dearest friends, whom she refers to as “battle sisters,” to the disease – Maria Spirandi and Michelle Wilsey Berry. Brigid continues chemotherapy treatments every Friday and hopes for a cure.

“To meet Brigid is to instantly love her. Her story is a testament to the advances made in treating breast cancer, but the loss of her battle sisters reminds us that our mission is not yet fulfilled,” said Heather Roberts, Race and special events director for Komen Phoenix.

The Komen Phoenix mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever, and 100 percent of funds raised in Race support this mission: 75 percent stays in the community and 25 percent supports international research. Since its inception, Komen Phoenix has granted more than $17 million to support life saving breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs in central and northern Arizona, and $5 million to Komen’s international research efforts.

“Through Komen Phoenix, every person has the opportunity to make a difference and be a hero. Whether you decide to participate or donate, you will save lives right here in Arizona – maybe even mine,” added Tueros.

As Honorary Race Chair, Brigid will officially kick-off the Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure and has formed the team “Brigid’s Rack Pack” with the fundraising goal of $4,470 – $1 for every woman in Arizona who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The public is welcome to join her team and/or donate to her fundraising goal at phoenix.info-komen.org/goto/brigidsrackpack.

Last year, more than 25,000 participants helped raise nearly $1.8 million. Thus far this year, Komen Phoenix is down approximately 7 percent in participation and 12 percent in revenue.

“The Race for the Cure is the single-biggest fundraiser supporting our mission in Arizona and the community’s continued support is critically important. Quite simply, any reduction in participation or funds raised will result in a reduction of services provided through our community grants. No other organization does what Komen Phoenix does for breast cancer in Arizona, and the need continues to be great,” added Roberts.

With the Race just 60 days away, Komen Phoenix is encouraging the community to rally for women like Brigid by registering and/or making a monetary donation. Teams consisting of 10 or more individuals must be registered by Sept. 28 to qualify for Team Awards. Individuals may register up until Race Day, but Race registration fees for individuals increase from $30 to $35 (adults) and $15 to $20 (ages 12 and under) beginning Sept. 29, 2012.

The Phoenix Race will take place Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 at the State Capitol District. It is one of the largest 5K events in Arizona and also features a one-mile family fun run and walk. This year’s event schedule is:

6 a.m.     Race Site Opens: Registration, Teams Area, Community Village, Corporate Village
6:30 a.m.    Survivors’ Parade Line-Up
6:45 a.m.     Survivors’ Celebration and Parade
7:15 a.m.     1 Mile Walk/Run
8:05 a.m.     Breast Cancer Survivor’s 5K Run
8:20 a.m.     5K Run
8:40 a.m.     5K Walk

For more information and to register both individually or as a team, please visit www.komenphoenix.org or call 602-346-CURE (2873).