The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition will hold its 27th annual Statewide Against the Tide multisport fundraising event Saturday, June 15, from 7 a.m.to noon, at Hopkinton State Park, 164 Cedar St. Hopkinton. Participants of all ages may choose to swim, run or walk/kayak/paddleboard (or even choose to do all three!) their way through this beautiful state park. All money raised supports research for breast-cancer prevention, a goal that makes the MBCC stand out from other cancer-research organizations.
"We are the only cancer-research organization that focuses on the true prevention of this disease," says Cheryl Osimo, executive director of the MBCC. "We were founded in 1991 under the belief that breast cancer will only be eradicated when we can pinpoint what causes it."
Osimo is a fully committed breast-cancer survivor and advocate who first joined the MBCC in 1992, when she was diagnosed with the disease. She joined the organization as a board member first because she was greatly intrigued by the organization's devotion to revealing the truth about breast cancer. She was promoted to executive director in 2003 and has received a plethora of awards, including Boston University's Arthur H. Wilde Award for Distinguished Service to Community in May 2000.
"I'll do everything I can to change the statistics of breast cancer," Osimo says. "The most rewarding part of my job is people reaching out to me every day, sharing their story of how this terrible disease has affected themselves or a member of their family. It is what really motivates me to do more to tackle this serious issue."
The goals of the MBCC include a need to focus on the environmental links to breast cancer that will lead to the primary eradication of the disease. The coalition also aims to eradicate myths and misconceptions about the breast-cancer epidemic.
Osimo says the coalition is fortunate to have incredible support from people all across Massachusetts who want better protection for their children's health to ensure a prosperous future for them.
"It's not up to our children to save us — it's up to us to save them," Osimo statsays. "The coalition has realized that through research — not just about breast cancer but all forms of cancer and various other diseases — we can do the right thing in tackling these issues right at the source. We will continue to try to do better every day until we have good, solid answers."
Money raised at this year's Statewide Against the Tide Event will go toward the expansion of the MBCC's program work, including the Let's Talk Prevention Community Education Program, which aims to increase discussions about cancer and its possible causes between health-care professionals and their patients. Participants may register online or in person at Hopkinton and is $40 per adult per event activity, and $25 per student per event activity. Also at 9:30 is the exclusive kids fun run, a chance for children to stretch their legs.
"Every penny counts and every person counts," Osimo says. "All support is needed."
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