Judith McKenna Named Honorary Chair for 2016 Race for the Cure

18thAnnual Komen Ozark Race for the Cure

JudithMcKenna - Profile

Rogers, Ark. (February 2016) – The Susan G. Komen Ozark Affiliate announced today that Judith McKenna will be the honorary race chair for the 2016 Komen Ozark Race for the Cure on April 30, 2016 at Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall in Rogers.

Judith McKenna is executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. and is responsible for the company’s U.S. operations, including more than 4,600 retail locations. Additional responsibilities include the development of new formats as well as the Walmart Services, U.S. Asset Protection, Walmart Realty and Central Operations.

“We are honored and excited to have Judith McKenna serve as our honorary race chair this year,” said Lauren Marquette Executive Director of the Ozark Affiliate.  “The Race for the Cure is our largest fundraiser and provides critical funding for local women and men who are in need of life-saving services.  Judith’s support will help build awareness of the local need.”

“Supporting research, funding and care for those suffering from breast cancer has long been a passion of mine, said McKenna. “I am honored to be the race chair for the 2016 Komen Ozark Race for the Cure to help raise money to support women, men and their families affected by breast cancer in Northwest Arkansas.”

The Komen Ozark Race for the Cure raises funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates survivors and honors those who have lost their battle from the disease.  Participation in the event and individual fundraising help provides free services for every step of the breast cancer journey, including education, outreach, screening and diagnostic services, emergency assistance, transportation and research.

This is the 18th year the race will be held in Northwest Arkansas.  On April 30, 2016 thousands of people will come together to celebrate the strong women and men who have fought or continue to fight this disease.

75% of net proceeds is invested in the local community and provides education, screening and treatment support services to women, men and families in the 10 counties served by Komen Ozark.  25% of the net race proceeds will be invested in breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Research Program.

Race registration for teams and individuals will open soon.  Events include timed 10K and 5K runs, non-timed 5K and a one mile fun walk.  Registration will also be available for Bark for the Cure, Kids for the Cure, Teens for the Cure and Sleep in for the Cure.

For more information about the 18th annual Race for the Cure please visit: http://www.komenozark.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/

 

Our Woman Crush Wednesday, Inger Bakaric!

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Our “Woman Crush Wednesday” today is Inger Bakaric!  Inger is a one year breast cancer survivor, serves on the Komen Ozark Race for the Cure Steering Committee and is our New Balance Honorary Team Survivor!

Honorary Team New Balance was formed in 1995 to celebrate stories of survival and to honor athletes who have made a difference in the fight against breast cancer. For each Race for the Cure, the Affiliate has the opportunity to choose a local survivor to be a part of Honorary Team New Balance. These members are honored for their personal perseverance against breast cancer and dedication to raising breast cancer awareness.

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Whatever It Takes-Inger’s Story

In July 2012 I went in for my regularly scheduled mammogram. I was a healthy, active 44 year old with no family history of breast cancer. I pointed out a small bump that I had recently found, within 48 hours they confirmed that it was stage 2 breast cancer. It was very close to the skin surface so I underwent 6 rounds of chemo to shrink it away from the skin, followed by a bilateral mastectomy in January and finally reconstruction in May 2013.

One of my doctors asked me at our first meeting what I was willing to do to get rid of the cancer, after a long scary pause I said whatever it takes. Later I thought about all the things I wanted to do in my life, on the top of my list was complete a sprint triathlon. I decided that as soon as I was able to I would do it, whatever it takes. I had run a 5k but I never thought I would be able to do anything more than that. I stayed as active as I could during chemo and was able to complete a 5k right before my 5th treatment. By the end of February I was able to go to biking class and I started working on getting my strength and endurance up. By April I was training with a beginner triathlon group. It was very hard work, I cried many times upset that my body was not able to work as hard as I wanted it to. In March I was able to do a bike race, in April I was 2nd survivor in Race for the Cure 5k with my best time ever. In May my first open water swim, and in August I had reached my goal and completed 2 sprint triathlons. I realized that I was stronger than I ever thought I could be. I have since run many more 5k races, my first 10k and my first half marathon placing first in the masters division. I am currently training to compete in another half marathon and a duathlon in March.

I decided early on in my treatment that I would not give up, that I would stay positive and I would never quit, and that I would finish what I started whatever it takes. This statement got me through the chemo and the tough days ahead and I still say it to myself anytime I have a hard day. I am so very thankful to my husband Michael who was such a wonderful support for me. He was with me at every doctor appointment; he trained with me and ran by my side during every race cheering me on. I was blessed to have the help of my wonderful friend Jill who among other things sat with me through my first chemo, my daughters Lorelei and Mariana who kept me smiling and helped out whenever I needed anything, my Mom and so many other friends and family that took care of me and kept my spirits up.

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