Race for the Cure Celebrates ‘Determined’ Cancer Survivors


On Sunday, Oct. 15, more than 4,000 runners, walkers, families and survivors gathered for the 23rd annual Susan G. Komen Hawaii Race For the Cure at Kapiolani Park.

Despite the early morning drizzle, the turn-out was an inspiring scene of people dressed in pink to lend support and inspiration to those who are survivors of breast cancer, women that are still fighting the disease, and those that have lost their lives.

Nancy Amano and her Zumba ohana from, the Island Club and Spa, got the participants blood flowing before the race began. Amano is such an inspiration to the fitness world. Her strength and determination to not let cancer keep her down has changed so many lives. She teaches people that there is no excuse for not living a healthy life.

“I am too positive to be doubtful,” said 46-year-old breast cancer survivor Nancy Amano. Amano has been breast cancer free for one year.  “I am too optimistic to be fearful and to determined to be defeated.”

When looking around, you could see intensity in the eyes of everyone that showed up. Some people ran while others leisurely walked the course. Then there were those that stood on the sidelines cheering on the runners and walkers. Everyone ran and walked together for one main goal, to find a cure. Whether dressed in pink, white or another random color, a sense of unity and pride filled the air. Pink balloons flooded the park, to bring  awareness to those driving and walking by.

As of Oct. 18, The 2017 Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure raised $111,646.10, according to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Hawaii website. The annual goal is $165,000. Up to 75 percent of the net income from the race stays right here in the Hawaii community to fund vital breast cancer education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs. The remaining 25 percent supports Komen’s national research and training grants program.

“I come every year to support my [older] sister who battled breast cancer and won,” said 35-year-old Kathy Jones. “I want to help bring awareness and help raise money for those that may not be able to afford breast cancer screenings.”

Twenty different teams raised money for the race. Some standing out with some pretty interesting names. “Save 2nd Base,” “Team Haole Tita,” “My Boobs Were Made for Walking,” are just a few of the team names that graced the leaderboard. “My Boobs Were Made for Walking” came in first place, with 65 members raising $11,754.10.

The success of the Komen Hawaii Race depends heavily on the support Susan G. Komen Hawaii receives from their volunteers in the months leading up to the race and on race day. Once all of the runners left, the park was filled with hundreds of volunteers cleaning up and reflecting on all of the lives that were touched that day.

In addition to raising funds for the breast cancer movement, Race for the Cure also increases awareness, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. Its vision is a world without breast cancer.