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Charlottesville women take on breast cancer

This weekend more than 3,500 women will don their running shoes and take to the Charlottesville streets to raise money for the University’s breast cancer treatment and prevention programs by taking part in the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler.

Participants have raised about $166,000 leading up to the 30th anniversary of the event, and for the 20th year in a row proceeds go to the U.Va. Cancer Center Breast Care Program.

These funds go toward supporting the High Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program, which gives women the tools to determine their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

In addition, donations help purchase “Navigational Notebooks” for women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, said Cancer Center development liaison Casey Hull. The binders
provide cancer patients with information about research, physicians, staff, treatment options, and it even includes a layout to help them navigate the hospital.

“Once you get the diagnosis, you inevitably go through panic mode,” Hull said. “Then it’s time to figure out what to do next. That’s where the notebooks come in.”

The organization also helps women whose insurance won’t cover imaging using a new type of imaging, Hull said. The new imaging system is pain- and compression-free, greatly easing the process for high-risk women who need frequent mammograms.

“For women who have a genetic history [of breast cancer] it makes a world of difference,” Hull said.

Beyond aiming to raise money for a good cause, the race also is an opportunity to remember loved ones lost to breast cancer and celebrate those who have survived it. If interested, participants can pay an extra $50 to have a poster with the name of a person affected by breast cancer hung up on the fence lining the last mile of the race — the “Motivational Mile.”

“A lot of women will tear down the posters and run across the finish line with them,” Hull said.
“It’s really touching to see and that’s something different about this race that I really like.”

The Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler kicks off Saturday at 8 a.m and begins and ends at the site of the Foxfield Races.