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“Make Strides Against Breast Cancer” – Join virtual walk to encourage awareness

First Coast YMCA
Press Release
October 13, 2020

The annual walk will be held virtually through October to unite First Coast residents in the fight to end breast cancer.

American Cancer Society and First Coast YMCA Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

This fall, the American Cancer Society (ACS), in partnership with the First Coast YMCA, is encouraging First Coast residents to participate in the first-ever virtual First Coast Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Presented by Florida Blue walk during the month of October. The event unites the community to honor breast cancer survivors and raise awareness about steps to take in order to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer underscores ACS’ mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Interested participants are encouraged to visit www.makingstrideswalk.org/jacksonvillefl to join the virtual walk.

“These extraordinary times only amplify the important work of ACS’ mission,” said Kayla Nasr, senior community development manager, American Cancer Society. “We are excited to bring the community together to support that mission in a new, virtual way to ensure safety across our communities. While the means may have changed, our commitment remains – all of us are Making Strides to end breast cancer.”

This year, about 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. About 42,170 women and 520 men will die from breast cancer. The American Cancer Society and First Coast YMCA encourage participants to join in “Making Strides in Your Community,” to walk a chosen number of miles either throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or the weekend of Oct. 17-18, and to solicit donations for each mile walked. Participants will also be invited to join a national virtual celebration – “Strides Live Across America” – at noon on Oct. 18 to celebrate making strides toward a world without breast cancer.

“At the First Coast YMCA, we have a trusted history of advancing the health and well-being of our communities through effective programs and community partnerships,” said Eric K. Mann, president and CEO, First Coast YMCA. “We’re pleased to support this large-scale effort to fight breast cancer in collaboration with ACS, and encourage our YMCA and community members alike to celebrate survivors, remember those we’ve lost, and raise funds to defeat this terrible disease.”

COVID-19 is having a significant and negative impact on the fight against cancer. Seventy-nine percent of cancer patients in active treatment report delays in care due to COVID-19. Earlier this summer, the director of the National Cancer Institute predicted the number of people who will die from breast or colorectal cancer in the U.S. will increase by nearly 10,000 over the next decade because of delayed screenings, treatments and halted research caused by the pandemic. Each dollar raised by participants during the event will fund breast cancer research, education and prevention, and support patient treatments.

Florida Blue will serve as the walk’s presenting sponsor for the fourth year, with President and CEO Pat Geraghty and his wife, Inger, leading as event chairs.

To learn more about how to participate in the virtual Making Strides of the First Coast, visit www.makingstrideswalk.org/jacksonvillefl. To learn more about the First Coast YMCA, visit www.fcymca.org.

About the American Cancer Society:
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org.

About the First Coast YMCA:

For more than 110 years, the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has been providing men, women and children of all ages, and from all walks of life, opportunities to build stronger bonds, live healthy and become more engaged with their communities. Learn more: www.fcymca.org.

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