Now in its 17th year, Miami’s Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure event is hard to miss. Each year in October, tens of thousands of Miamians dressed in pink descend on Bayside Park to support the fight to end breast cancer forever.
Early on Saturday, October 20, bright and cheery Kendall resident Neysa Cambo took the first Metrorail train from Dadeland South into downtown Miami. She watched the growing sea of pink shirts that sat and stood around her as the train hit each stop with a smile on her face. All the while, family member Yoyi Gonzalez sat next to Neysa with her arm tightly around her the whole ride.
Neysa was diagnosed with breast cancer just this May, has already undergone surgery and is currently in chemo. Her cancer materialized within six months of a clean mammogram report, reminding everyone that cancer can strike quickly. Now, she and 20 other supportive family members who named themselves “Sisters In Pink”, were determined to take every step with her.
“I think it’s going to be fun! I’m looking forward to it, said Neysa, “Yesterday I didn’t think I was going to make it due to my blood counts. The doctors discovered my numbers were high, but thankfully I made it out for the event.”
Brenda Bly is a real estate Broker with RE/MAX Advance Realty and a 10-year breast cancer survivor. Her 115-person firm, owned and co-brokered by Pinecrest resident Anthony Askowitz, makes sure they are out in force each year to support Brenda and nearly another dozen agents who are breast cancer survivors. “It’s a great event and a good cause,” says Askowitz, “my whole family gets involved every year.”
As Brenda Bly passed out fans to participants, she spoke about the event passionately. “As a survivor, I feel this is something we all need to participate in. This year the crowd seems larger, more energized, active, more pink. I think it’s going to be a great walk!” Brenda continued, “RE/MAX is here because we are one of the largest contributors to the Komen Foundation and we also contribute to the Children’s Miracle Network to support the battle on cancer of all kinds.”
As start time grew near, the throngs got more excited. Participants can chose several paths to either walk or run, depending on ability. The 5K walk is most popular, so people can stick together and talk. As I weaved through the walkers, I heard snippets of stories of survival and heartache.
After 45-minutes or so, I spotted Neysa’s “Sisters In Pink” entourage. Neysa, who had walked most of the event, decided to pick up the pace as she neared the finish line. Her family cheered wildly as she entered the special “survivors” path and crossed the finish line where volunteers donned her with a pink-ribboned award metal.
“That was amazing,” exclaimed Neysa as she disappeared back into the crowd of nearly 1000 other breast cancer survivors who were on-hand and participated.
Witnessing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event teaches you that women are strong and can survive breast cancer. Brenda has it beat more than 10-years now and Neysa looks like she’s strong enough to do the same.
“Sisters In Pink” raised over $500 for the event and greater Miami contributions totaled $1 million. Of that, 75 percent will stay in South Florida, the remaining 25 percent will go to Komen’s national efforts to fund research programs.
Sights and sounds from the event including Neysa crossing the finish line