By RENALDO DORSETT Tribune Sports Reporter rdorsett@tribunemedia.net THE world's largest breast cancer association has partnered with Marathon Bahamas to host the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure for the second consecutive year in the Bahamas in a weekend of breast cancer advocacy, awareness and support. The 5K race is set to take place on January 14 and features several categories, including individual, youth and team divisions. Sharlyn Smith, chair of Survivor Recognition, said the major appeal of the event will be to benefit local breast cancer research and support. "Its about raising awareness for breast health needs that are facing Bahamans. "We all are aware of the critical breast health needs that are facing Bahamians and one 100 per cent of the funds raised from the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure stays in the community and they assist entities that are at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer in the Bahamas," she said, "The response has been phenomenal and it is something that corporate Bahamas has really responded well to. The real impact comes through participation so we want to have as many people participate as possible. Smith said that despite the fundraising efforts effecting the Bahamas, interested persons around the world can find a way to participate on raceday even if they are unable to make it to the shores of the Bahamas. "Its important to reiterate, that 100 percent of the funds will remain here in the Bahamas. Despite the fact that much of the fundraising is happening in the US. If you go on the site there is a table showing the funds we have raised thus far and there is also a possibility of virtual participation," she said, "That means anyone anywhere in the world can register for this race and we will send them a shirt to wear on raceday. So wherever they are in the world they will have a shirt from the Bahamas race but they still have an opportunity to participate on the day of the event." In the Bahamas, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with health officials estimating 300-500 new cases annually. Nearly half of the Bahamian women diagnosed with breast cancer are under age 50, and nearly half of those are diagnosed at stage 3 of the disease. The first-ever Susan G Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure took place last year on Paradise Island with approximately 1,500 runners and walkers. Komen is also the charity beneficiary of the Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas full marathon, half-marathon and six-person relay events. In addition to raising funds, these events serve to break down stigmas and cultural barriers so that those affected by breast cancer are able to speak openly about the disease and seek the care they need. Proceeds from the events support the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative, Cancer Society of The Bahamas, Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group and Komen's Circle of Promise.


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