LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) – Despite the weather, they came to honor those we have lost, celebrate those who have survived and support everyone currently living with breast cancer, while making a tremendous impact in the fight to create a world without breast cancer. In the end, nearly 8,000 members of our community, Walk route entertainers and spectators gathered on October 26, 2019 for the Central Arkansas MORE THAN PINK WalkTM, sharing laughter and tears, while raising funds for breast cancer treatment, patient advocacy and lifesaving research. Fundraising is still open until November 29, 2019 for opportunities to win fabulous prizes from Komen National and local sponsors.
“We can’t thank everyone who showed up to walk with us enough for their passion and support,” said Amy Treadway, Executive Director. “The funds raised through the MORE THAN PINK Walk ensure that we will be able to continue supporting our neighbors affected by breast cancer today, while helping to search for tomorrow’s cures.”
Hilary Hunt charged up the crowd, noting that we stand as a united community, ready to do everything we can to save lives and end breast cancer. The emotional and engaging opening ceremonies kicked off with a Parade of Hope, honoring and recognizing all the local survivors and those living with metastatic breast cancer.
Thanks in part to funds raised by the Central Arkansas MORE THAN PINK Walk, Susan G. Komen can invest in breakthrough research and ensure that all those diagnosed with breast cancer receive the care they need. To help bring this work to life, the ceremony featured short stories of people in our community who represent how Komen is helping drive research, provide needed care, mobilize communities and take action in the fight to end breast cancer.
Komen’s Pillar Awards recipients were also recognized at this year’s MORE THAN PINK Walk.
Research – Dr. Sharp Malak
Dr. Sharp Malak is a specialist in breast imaging, oncologic imaging and radiology. One of his passions is addressing the plight of breast cancer in Arkansas. Dr. Malak has researched the data and statistics providing a realistic picture of the state of breast cancer in our state. Armed with the facts, Dr. Malak has, for over eleven years, has worked tirelessly to ensure care for all, specifically through mobile mammography providing screening to those who live in areas of our areas of our state outside of a 30-mile radius to a fixed mammography site. Dr. Sharp Malak’s MORE THAN PINK color is purple – representing Komen’s research initiatives across the globe.
Care – Alesa Garner
Alesa Garner has been a “Survivor Soldier” since her breast cancer diagnosis in 1998. After completing her journey, she was compelled to make a career change from being in a clinical lab to coordinating a cancer program for breast cancer survivors and their caregivers. Her organization provides mastectomy garments and lymphedema treatment, education and psychosocial support for patients and caregivers during and after diagnosis. She oversees a group of volunteers who create caps and pillows donated to more than 140 groups and survivors throughout Arkansas. Alesa is a strong advocate for young survivors encouraging their membership to the young survivor coalition. She was a breast cancer navigator before there was even a formalized certification available, and in 2015, she received the honor of navigator although she had been doing the job for years. Alesa Garner’s MORE THAN PINK color is green, representing the Care Komen and its partners provide every day.
Community – Robin Dean (accepted by her family)
Robin Dean had a compassionate quest to save every life touched by breast cancer, as she had her own journey of breast cancer from a diagnosis in 2006. She was a member of the very first Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure committee back in 1994. Living in North Little Rock and knowing that the City of North Little Rock would be an amazing asset for success of the fundraiser, Robin single handedly recruited the city government including the mayor, the police and citizens to embrace the event. We lost our dear friend and advocate earlier this year after a long hard battle with metastatic breast cancer. Robin’s Family was on stage to represent her as she was presented the Community Award with the blue Komen wrap to remind us that we at Susan G. Komen are, at our core, a part of the fabric of this community and our doors will always be open to help.
Action – Cynthia Foster, ASP Angels
Cynthia Foster is the team captain for the ASP Angels, representing the Arkansas State Police. The ASP Angels have been one of the top fundraising team for over 10 years. She organizes her team members and oversees their annual fundraising efforts. Cynthia says the ASP Angels put the “Fun” in Fundraising and she is passionate about breast cancer awareness because of family members and friends affected by the disease, including several survivors on the ASP Angels team. Cynthia Foster’s MORE THAN PINK color is Orange, representing the Action Komen takes every day to motivate and recruit others to save more lives here in Central Arkansas and beyond.