Two Cape residents leading teams in today’s Race for the Cure
Two women from Cape Coral will be leading their own teams in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the mega-event scheduled to begin this morning at 8 at Coconut Point.
Following the 2011 Race for the Cure, $1,015,235 was given in grants to 13 area non-profit organizations providing education, screening, treatment and support in the fight against breast cancer. The other 25 percent of funds raised now support national research programs in the fight against breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of funds raised by the event stay in Southwest Florida.
The two local team captains are Deborah Beavers and Tricia Aulls, each with their own unique story of why they decided to champion in the fight against breast cancer, the benefit of Race for the Cure.
Beavers is a breast cancer survivor, living in Cape Coral. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2009 at age 47. Unlike many others, she had no family history of the disease, but did have regular mammograms and did regular breast self-exams.
This is her third year of being a survivor.
“It’s a a benchmark for me,” she said. “Working with Susan Komen brings light to my journey that has been given to me.
“I’m doing this because I wanted more women to be aware of breast cancer – so many are not. I listen and talk to many women who wait until they get their mamograms, but we need to do exams every month. I had my mammograms and six month later, I did a self-exam and found it (the cancer) myself.”
Her team is called the Fabulous Pinkies.
“It’s made up of friends and family and it’s been great organizing this,” she said. “We’re looking forward to the race – in in the last few days we’ve added two or three others that are registering to the race that day. That’s exciting.”
Semi-retired, she’s been a giver or nurturer all her life. For 10 years she’s been self-employed, with one project opening up an adult daycare called Choices in Living Adult Daycare.
“We opened it in December 2008 and on December 5 of 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I never expected this to be dealt to me – it was never in my family,” she said.
Everyone is really looking forward to the race on her team. “It’s really inspirational.”
The other local team captain, Aulls will be leading her team Tricia’s Treasures, for the third year in a row. A long-time Cape Coral resident, she is also a nurturer at heart and teaches children with special needs at Tropic Isles Elementary in North Fort Myers.
“I teach Pre-K to 3, 4 and 5-year-olds that might have some type of developmental delay, a learning disability or language speech delays,” she said. “What we try to do is get them ready for regular kindergarten classes.”
Earlier this week, she hurt her knee, but still plans on walking with her team as far as she can, and said she just as excited about the event as ever.
“We’re a small team, but I’ve gotten over my expectation in donations,” she said.
She has friends and even a fellow teacher on her team.
She started her Tricia’s Treasures team in memory of her mother who died of breast cancer in 1971 at the age of 49. Tricia was a 20 year-old college
student at the time.
“I was only 20 – it seems like a lifetime ago,” she said. “They didn’t have hospice care at that time so she died an extremely long painful death. I’m very thankful hospice was invented so people don’t have to be in pain anymore.”
She said she finds the race atmosphere so empowering.
“It just gives me goosebumps, and it is so enlightening to see so many people share the same feeling,” she said.
She has herself gone through several diagnostic breast procedures
and biopsies in the last few years – all of which were negative.
“Like everyone else, I would like to see breast cancer being non-existent and raising money will help with research and help cancer patients who can’t afforded treatment.”