Schenectady County

Annual race raises breast cancer awareness, money

The 17th annual Komen Northeastern New York Race for the Cure festivities begin with a 5K race at 9

Almost a decade and a half since she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Charlton resident Barbara Wayman is set to participate in her eighth Susan G. Komen for the Cure race today in Albany.

The 17th annual Komen Northeastern New York Race for the Cure festivities begin with a 5K race at 9 a.m. and a two-mile walk at 10 a.m. The Northeastern New York affiliate receives 75 percent of the proceeds from the race, while the national office collects 25 percent.

“I do this as my way of giving back … I try not to miss it,” said Wayman, who is also on the board of directors for the Northeastern New York affiliate of Komen for the Cure. Recently, Wayman was honored with the Cathy Patten Volunteer Award for four years of service as treasurer for the regional affiliate.

Wayman said the race is a chance to spread awareness about the danger of breast cancer and hopefully encourage people to get tested. The race continues to grow, Wayman said, as daughters and nieces become a large part of the tradition. She will be walking this year with a team of about 15 people, made up of family and friends, including a niece who is dealing with breast cancer.

“We usually go out to lunch and spend a few hours together. It makes you realize how lucky we all are to still be here,” she said. “It makes a fun day.”

Wayman added that after the race she looked forward “to counting a lot of money.”

Wayman said her memories and emotions from treatment are rekindled during the race. “You don’t ever forget about it … but the race sort of brings it all back to you,” she said.

This summer, Wayman expanded her involvement with Komen for the Cure, as she participated in the Washington race on a whim. She said it was something she always had thought about, but the timing hadn’t worked out until she was coincidentally visiting her son in D.C. when a race was being held.

“While we were there, they had the national race for the cure,” said Wayman, who was still recovering from a broken ankle at the time. Even though she wasn’t at 100 percent, the thousands of people in attendance moved her to participate.

“Of course I had to walk it,” she said. “It’s an overwhelming thing.”

Founded in 1982 by Susan G. Komen’s sister, the foundation in her namesake has invested about $1.9 billion to fight breast cancer.

Individuals can still register for the 5K race today from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on the Concourse Level of the Empire State Plaza. Registration for the walk continues until 9:30 a.m.

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