Over 12,000 individuals took part in the Susan G. Komen’s annual Race for the Cure event in downtown Des Moines last Saturday.
Devon Murphy-Peterson, Assistant Waukee Public Library Director, was just one participant walking–not only for herself–but for her friend and former Waukee Public Library Director Linda Mack who passed away last August.
Murphy-Peterson and Mack started attending the event close to five years ago before they were both diagnosed with breast cancer.
Murphy-Peterson was diagnosed in 2009 but said she wasn’t surprised because cancer runs in her family.
“(I was) definitely dismayed, but I also felt strongly that everything would be alright,” she said. “I was fortunate (because) from the day of my questionable mammogram to the day I finished radiation was a little over two months.”
Today, Murphy-Peterson is cancer-free and walked in remembrance of Mack as well as for her own survival.
“I only cried twice this year,” she said. “It’s truly an amazing day, and I hope we keep doing it. The Komen Foundation does a lot of good things so I’m proud to support it.”
This year Murphy-Peterson walked with her husband, Dan, son, Andy, and five other friends and colleagues.
Another local resident, Marla Allen, has been involved with the event for 15 years with her last two years participating as a breast cancer survivor.
“In the beginning I thought it was a good cause to walk for,” she said. “Now, when I walk, I’m hoping that the money the race takes in finds a cure for the disease, so my two teenage daughters never have to go through what I did.”
Race for the Cure is critical to the community because the majority of the funds stay in Iowa, Special Events Coordinator Derek Johnson said.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that 25 percent of our funding goes nationally toward research, but 75 percent stays here locally to help provide screening, diagnosis, and treatment services for those in need,” he said. “The money that is raised here, stays here.”