Saturday, May 25, 2013
Mothers, Daughters Run to Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Research
Nearly 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer, and one Anchorage family is doing their part to reduce the rate.
Aimed at defeating Alaska's number one killer, the Alaska Run For Women kicks off its 18th year of raising funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.
Nearly 40,000 women die from cancer each year, and one family who has been affected is doing their part to make sure those numbers are erased. In memory of Su Geiermann who died of breast cancer in 2005, her family is inspired, determined, and motivated to make sure what happened to them won't happen to other families.
Su’s daughter Rilee Geiermann and her family want to kick breast cancer right in its butt.
“It needs to be taken very seriously…you need to have mammograms at 30 years old,” said Rilee. “If it saves one life it’s worth it.” Through awareness and finding a cure, it’s all about honoring her mother who died when she was just 10 years old.
Rilee’s mother died just 11 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It was very hard towards the end because the cancer had spread and I just…I was very sad because I couldn't remember her being my mom,” said Rilee.
But Su is far from forgotten as a great mom, Sunday school teacher, and gardener whose memory has inspired her loved ones to walk and run in her name so other women won't suffer the same fate.
“We want to fight against it and one day defeat it so no one will die anymore,” said Maeve Bakic, Su’s niece.
“She lives again through this— I know she would have wanted us to be doing this and I know if she was alive and breast cancer somehow came into our lives, she would be doing this with us,” said Rilee.
Fundraising team Su Geiermann's Pink Fireman, family and friends are celebrating Su’s life through costume and encouraging other women to get a mammogram.
Rilee said the message is working.
“People are just like, ‘we are going to miss you if you guys weren't here,’ because we're regulars,” said Maeve, and pledges to continue promoting early detection until breast cancer is no more.
“It’s a very emotional walk but it does help other people, so it’s worth it, and I think of my mom every time I do it, and every time it comes up,” said Rilee.
The Alaska Run For Women is this Saturday, June 11, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The event starts at the Sullivan Arena and ends at the Anchorage Football Stadium.
Mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and co-workers are all encouraged to come out.