It’s that time of year when charity turns pink: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer in the U.S. by the end of the year, and about 39,620 deaths from the disease. The statistics are alarming, and that’s why it’s so important to be aware of ways to help prevent the disease and find more effective cures. Sure, you can donate to an organization, or purchase a plethora of pink breast cancer awareness products (and we think you should!). But one of the inspiring ways to get involved is to get active. These events will get you moving this month and throughout the year. (Note: The below events are listed by date.)
1. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Locations: Multiple Cities Nationwide
Date: Now through November 9, 2013
With almost 300 events nationwide, The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation. Proceeds go toward helping the American Cancer Society fight breast cancer with research, information and services, and access to mammograms for women who need them. And like all breast cancer awareness month events, they serve as an opportunity to honor those who have had the disease and raise awareness about what women and men can do to reduce their risk.
2. Susan G. Komen 3-Day
Locations: Philadelphia, PA; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, GA; Tampa Bay, FL; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Phoenix Valley, AZ; San Diego, CA
Dates: October 4-6, 2013; October 11-13, 2013; October 18-20; October 25-27, 2013; November 1-3, 2013; November 8-10; November 15-17, 2013
This three-day, 60-mile event requires each participant to raise at least $2,300 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization. Participants walk 20 miles each day, and the weekend ends with a commemorative and fun closing ceremony. At the end of the day, walkers retreat to camp, which features a dining tent, hot showers, pink sleeping tents and evening entertainment and activities. Expect bold, pink outfits, tent decorations and themed pit stops along the route. And if camping isn’t your thing, you’re welcome to stay in a hotel nearby.
3. Men Against Breast Cancer 5K & Fun Run/Walk
Location: Bethesda, MD
Date: October 5, 2013
The philosophy of Men Against Breast Cancer is to leverage the support of the whole family. It’s the first and only national 501(c)(3) nonprofit designed to provide targeted support services that educate and empower men to be effective caregivers when cancer strikes. You can help men protect the women in their lives by running in the organization’s first annual 5K, held in Bethesda, MD, just a few miles outside the nation’s capital.
4. Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: October 5-6, 2013
This downtown Atlanta walk benefits It’s the Journey, Inc., an organization that supports breast cancer patients and breast health programs in Georgia. Participants cover 30 miles over two days, but can also sign up for one of the two days, walking 20 miles on Saturday or 10 miles on Sunday.
5. Hot Pink Fun Run
Location: Roseville, CA
Date: October 6, 2013
The Hot Pink Fun Run features 10K and 5K races and an untimed 1-mile walk/run to benefit to Placer Breast Cancer Endowment of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Participants dress in (you guessed it!) hot pink, and are encouraged to wear fun costumes, from bright pink wigs to tutus and butterfly wings.
6. Peak Hike for Prevention
Location: Mt. Tam, CA
Date: October 6, 2013
This fundraising hike benefits the Breast Cancer Fund’s work to expose and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer (from chemicals in plastics, cosmetics and household products, to radiation from medical procedures). Participants can choose from a 7- or 11.5-mile round-trip trail hike at Mt. Tamalpais (known locally as Mt. Tam), in Marin County, CA. Afterwards, hikers are treated to a massage and healthy living expo, where they can learn how to protect themselves from the disease.
7. Trek Women Breast Cancer Awareness Ride
Location: Multiple Cities Nationwide
Date: October 12-13, 2013
For cycling enthusiasts (or biking newbies), Trek Bicycle retailers around the country are hosting the 6th annual Trek Women Breast Cancer Awareness ride. Registration fees are donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. With 10- and 25-mile rides, the events are designed to be family-friendly, helping raise funds and awareness while bringing communities together.
8. D’Feet Breast Cancer Fun Run/Walk
Location: Galveston, TX
Date: October 19, 2013
D’Feet Breast Cancer partners with Galveston County (Texas) medical centers to provide free health services, mammograms and follow-up care, to uninsured and underserved women in the area. It also supports community outreach and breast health education programs in area schools. The fun run/walk is held at the Moody Gardens amusement park, and participants can use their race bib to receive a discount to the park. What could be better than a rollercoaster to keep the post-run adrenaline flowing?
9. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Locations: New York, NY; Charlotte, NC
Dates: October 20-21, 2013; October 27-28, 2013
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series celebrates its 11th season this year, with events held in eight cities around the country. Several have already passed, but you can still get in on the fun in New York and North Carolina. Every walker is expected to raise $1,800 to help put an end to breast cancer. Help spread the word of why you’re walking by entering the 2013 Avon Walk Video Contest (deadline October 8).
Interested in taking your support beyond just the walks and runs listed above? With events like Tubbs Romp to Stomp Snowshoe Series this winter, Yoga on the Steps in the spring, and Tri for the Cure next summer, there’s a creative (and active!) way for everyone to support the cause. And for the kid in you, you can support the cause at Kicks for a Cure, the world’s largest charity kickball event held in Chicago’s Grant Park, or dance your heart out at a Party in Pink Zumbathon.