Home East Brunswick Sentinel EB News Annual Walk for Diane marks decade of supporting early detection of breast cancer

Annual Walk for Diane marks decade of supporting early detection of breast cancer

Annual Walk for Diane marks decade of supporting early detection of breast cancer

The 10th Annual 5K (3.1 miles) Walk for Diane helps raise funds for women who are unable to afford procedures to detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable, and receive potentially life-saving care.

Sponsored by the North Brunswick-based Amy Feiman Behar Foundation for Cancer Prevention, Inc., the Walk for Diane starts at 9 a.m. on Oct. 28, originating and ending in Buccleuch Park at the intersection of Easton Avenue and Huntington Street, across from Saint Peter’s University Hospital, in New Brunswick.

Check in begins at 8 a.m. Free parking is available in the hospital parking deck.

All walkers are asked for a $15 registration fee, as well as to raise $70 – half the cost of a screening mammogram – by accessing www.firstgiving.com/amyfoundation/10th-annual-walk-for-diane, which also is available through The Amy Foundation website, www.amyfoundation.org.

Participants can register as individual, or can create or join a team. Donations also can be made in support of specific walkers, a team or in general. All donations are tax-deductible.

Registration will close at midnight on Oct. 22, but anyone who wishes to participate can register on-site the day of the event.

The timing of Walk for Diane in October coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The walk is one of The Amy Foundation’s two major annual fundraising events to support the cost of screening mammograms and diagnostic ultrasounds, biopsies to confirm a preliminary breast cancer diagnosis, genetic testing, and to assist with costs associated with the early detection process for uninsured and underinsured women in central New Jersey. The other signature event is the Bike Ride for Amy, held every spring.

The Amy Foundation was created in memory of Amy Feiman Behar, a South Brunswick resident who died of breast cancer in 2007 at 49. The Walk for Diane” honors Diane Goodwin, a close friend of Behar’s and fellow South Brunswick resident, who was 53 when she died of breast cancer in 2009.

“Diane was a fighter,” her husband John Goodwin said in a statement provided by the foundation. “She lived 16 years after a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer. She would have admired all of those who have participated in the walk for their spirit, their sacrifice and their dedication to a lifesaving cause. It’s what makes our efforts so gratifying.”

Goodwin, a member of The Amy Foundation Board of Trustees, also views the importance of the Walk for Diane in the context of the continuing uncertainty about health insurance markets in the United States, according to the statement.

“We are concerned that increasing numbers of women may be without the financial means to obtain vital early breast cancer detection measures,” he said. “So we strongly encourage individuals, families, friends, neighbors and co-workers to walk with us to remember those who lost their lives to breast cancer, those currently fighting this devastating disease, and to think of those whose lives may be saved because of your participation.”

The foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities for underserved women to understand the need for early detection; to increase early detection measures among these women; and to work with professionals in the field to determine how early breast cancer detection is best accomplished, according to the statement. Women served through support from the foundation are low income. Although insurance may be available, many uninsured and underinsured patients opt out of purchasing insurance because premiums are unaffordable, or, if they can afford less expensive insurance, they cannot afford co-pays and opt out of medical procedures.

To date, the foundation has raised more than $700,000 and has helped more than 3,400 women, according to the statement. Early detection procedures help doctors “see” breast cancer before a lump can be felt, when the cure rates are nearly 100 percent.

These vital life-saving procedures are made possible through foundation partnerships and programs that began with Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick and later expanded to include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (RCINJ), both in New Brunswick, and Penn Medicine at Princeton Health in Plainsboro.

For more information, visitwww.amyfoundation.org.