Roanoke Race for the Cure not just for cancer patients

Supporters take part for friends and family

By Dawn Jefferies – Anchor

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Lutheria Smith has always proactive about getting her annual mammogram and encourages others to do the same.

“I try to remember on the day I have my mammogram to remind other women to have a mammogram,” she said.

Like many women, she has friends who’ve been diagnosed. Even her own mother.

“At that point I sort of felt like my mission was to fight so that my daughter… I might not escape but perhaps my daughter would live in a world with a cure,” Smith said.

She took part in last years Race for the Cure to support Susan G. Komen’s mission to end the disease one in eight women in our area is diagnosed with in her lifetime.

More than 100 each year are African-American, according to research by Komen of the Virginia Blue Ridge.

Little did she know at the time, she would be one of those just a couple weeks after the 2016 race.

“I had breast cancer at the time. I just didn’t know it,” she explained.

She was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer after a routine mammogram. Smith recalls the day. She reminded her office mates to schedule their own appointments when she returned to the office.

“I said what a great day it was how easy it was, how quickly the exam was, they got me in and out.”
The exam she stresses, is important.

“It’s just so important to get screened. And if you can’t afford a screen, that’s one of the great things that Komen does is provide is screening, funding for screening.”

It’s funding that comes from Race for the Cure. Funding, Smith says, that can lead to a cure.

“Funding from Komen provides mammograms. Funding provides cures, research that leads to cures,” she said. “While we’re waiting for the cures, research leads to drugs like tamoxifen that I’m on. And many other drugs.”

Smith will attend Saturday’s race with her family and friends and is asking others to be there as well.

Race for the Cure is Saturday, April 29 from 4 to 9 p.m. at River’s Edge in Roanoke.

You can register online until Friday.

Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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