ELDRIDGE, Iowa — Editor's note: The video above is from October 2021.
Genesis Health System will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its second annual Gather for the Cure from Scott County Park on Saturday, according to a press release.
Gather for the Cure will take place from 9 a.m-12 p.m. at the Whispering Pines Indoor Shelter at the park.
The event will start with live music, vendors, retailers, and food and beverages. Attendees can sign the Pink Heals pink firetruck, hear a message of hope from breast cancer survivor Angela Mattke and take a one-mile walk for breast cancer awareness.
Concluding events include a bubble blowing in memory of those who've lost their lives while battling breast cancer.
Gather for the Cure is an opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors, memorialize lives lost to breast cancer, inform the public of local cancer-based programs and resources, and raise money for the Genesis Voucher Program.
According to the release, money raised through the event will directly contribute to the Genesis Foundation, which will help fill the void resulting from Genesis' loss of financial support from the Susan G. Komen organization.
Through the Genesis Foundation, the Genesis Voucher Program has been administering free mammograms and ultrasounds. Genesis launches this annual event to ensure that they can raise the funds to continue offering the voucher program. Between July 2020 and Dec. 2021, 328 individuals accessed the voucher program, receiving 296 mammograms and 95 breast ultrasounds, all free of charge.
There were an estimated 2,770 new cases of female breast cancer in Iowa and 11,340 new cases of female breast cancer in Illinois in 2021, according to the release.
"There isn't a single person who hasn't been touched by breast cancer," said Diane Koster, Genesis Women's Health Grant Program Specialist. "This event helps us build support for our community to fight breast cancer with the hope to continue for many years until we never lose someone again. These are not just statistics. These are real people. Your mother, sister, daughter, friend. Together, we can impact these numbers and decrease deaths from breast cancer by supporting the Voucher Program."
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