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Changes for 2022 Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure

The Toledo and Findlay races will be combined.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio has announced that this year's Toledo and Findlay Race for the Cure events will be combined into one large function. The event will be Sept. 25 in downtown Toledo.

Gretchen Awad, Development Director of Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio, said the change was prompted by the pandemic. She said the change has the full support of Komen executive leadership and Findlay race sponsors. The event likely will continue as a combined race going forward.

"We do want to make sure that when we host Race for the Cure that it's impactful and important. We are not forgetting about our friends in Findlay. It's a combined race, not one canceled and one continuing," Awad said. "We have something special that's going to happen in the Findlay market around the same time, so something completely unique for them."

While Awad believes northwest Ohio is excited to have "one big super event," she acknowledges the Findlay Race for the Cure, which would have celebrated 10 years in 2022, has been "transformational" for the Komen organization.

"Findlay is a unique, and tight and proud community that embraced Komen and our mission from the very beginning. Although Findlay went virtual in 2021, of all the Komen race events that happened live throughout our country, all of them, from east to west coast, Findlay was one of the top races in terms of fundraising, registration, sponsorship dollars, the Toledo and the Findlay markets combined were two of the top five races in the country," Awad said.

The organization still has a lot of work to do with it's mission to eradicate breast cancer. Awad said the pandemic created new challenges as women put off screenings only to see a treatable diagnosis become more challenging.

"There are some reports that say screenings dropped by half during the pandemic. Just like anything else, it was especially impactful for African-American women, and our Hispanic and Native American women, or women who have to pay for these screenings out of pocket," Awad said. "So, although things were put on hold, this is where Komen is seeing a bigger need and we are still getting local requests from women who are putting off their yearly screenings or never had a screening or for some reason were afraid or were told not to go to a hospital for screening purposes and now they're getting back and early detection saves lives. Even skipping that year, or year and a half to two years, makes a difference between what could be an easily treatable breast cancer diagnosis and a diagnosis of something more challenging. So, most importantly, the need is still there and Komen is still here."

Nancy Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, now known simply as Susan G. Komen, in 1982, after losing her only sister to breast cancer. The first Race for the Cure took place in Dallas in 1983, drawing 800 participants.

The first Komen Race for the Cure in Toledo was in 1994. The first race in Findlay was in 2013. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers were forced to make the races virtual events in both 2020 and 2021.

The popular 5K runs and fitness walks raise money for breast cancer research, care, community, and action, according to Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio.

The Race for the Cure events provide year-round funding for women and men who need breast cancer screenings, breast cancer treatments, childcare and transportation for patients, breast-health education, advocacy, and more.

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