COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s one of Central Ohio’s most signature events, but for the second year in a row the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be moved online.
“Even though we can’t be together, this time of year just makes you think of ‘Race,'” says Race Director Alyssa Petrella. “Everyone wants to share their story.”
And while crowds of pink-clad participants won’t be taking to the streets of Columbus this year, race organizers say they wanted to find a way to continue their support of those affected.
“Those who we’re remembering, who we’re celebrating, who we’re racing for, are still so important in our lives and we want to take that time to recognize them,” Petrella adds.
Last year’s race in May was postponed until August because of COVID-19, meaning Saturday’s race will take place virtually for the second straight year.
“We want to support one another, and sort of bring in this hope that we’re all working towards this mission, and because we’re all working together towards this mission, we really are going to achieve it,” Petrella encourages.
As the Race Director, Petrella has felt the impacts of breast cancer within her own family. Her grandmother died from the disease, while two aunts and an uncle survived their battles.
So too did one of the race’s biggest supporters and fundraisers, Stasi Trout.
“Especially in a pandemic when everybody feels strapped, it’s important to keep in mind people who really have a different lifestyle, or they don’t have the same opportunities everyone has,” says Trout of the increased need for financial support over the past two years.
Trout herself is about to celebrate 10-years breast cancer free.
“That initial reaction is paralyzing fear,” Trout, a mother and wife, admits.
Survivors like herself rely on the advancements that the Komen organization funds.
“They provide funding for research, for care, for community involvement, and then for action,” Trout describes.
And it’s taking action that Trout says has helped save lives.
“I’m proud of reaching the 10-year mark but I’m more proud of being able to offer hope and support for other women and their families going through it,” Trout reveals.
Because for her and Petrella, the cause is about more than themselves. It’s about the generations to come, and those still fighting today.
“It’s going to be a part of my future. I’m not sure how, but if I can be a part of making it an easier diagnosis to face in the future, that’s sort of my mission,” says Petrella.
The virtual opening ceremony on Saturday will take place at 8:30 a.m., with the race kick off at 9:00 a.m. There will also be a socially-distanced hope parade, where individuals will be able to celebrate in their cars, that will be streamed on Facebook.
Registration for the virtual race is still open. To register or to make a donation to the Susan G. Komen organization and breast cancer research, visit: https://komencolumbus.org/