Pink Warriors run and walk for a cause
By PAMELA GRANT
Men, women, and children adorned themselves in pink as they showed support for breast cancer awareness by participating in the Pink Warrior Angels’ 3rd Annual Pink Warrior Dash 5k Run/Walk.
The event took place at the Copperas Cove City Park Saturday with a quick ‘Pretty in Pink’ contest at 8 a.m. where participants showed off their pink-themed outfits. The 5k began immediately after the conclusion of the contest.
Money raised from the event will go towards supporting those diagnosed with breast cancer. Everyone who participated in the 5k received a medal and a t-shirt. The first 100 to register received a CATO swag bag and coupons donated by local businesses.
Several participants were cancer survivors or undergoing treatments, and many others had family or friends that they were running in honor of. Others just wanted to participate and were happy that their entry fees will go towards a good cause.
Dawn Hale said that Saturday was her first time running as a survivor. She was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, in January.
“I’ve always volunteered, but it’s more personal now,” said Hale. “This is my first time running as a survivor.”
Hale said she never expected the diagnosis. Nobody in her family had been diagnosed previously. However, Hale said she’s dealing with it and moving on, and she appreciates everything the Pink Warrior Angels have done for her.
“They’re available pretty much 24/7—any time—just to talk,” said Hale. “If you need help with anything, they’re there…And that’s a big deal. They’re awesome.”
The Pink Warrior Angels is a non-profit organization started by Jen Reynolds and Julie Moser to help those undergoing cancer treatments in any way that they can. The two were both diagnosed with breast cancer and went through their ordeal alone. Moser said they wanted to form an organization to encourage and offer support to make sure that others would not have to be alone. The name comes from the fact that they pair a ‘warrior’, or someone currently fighting cancer, with an ‘angel’, or someone who fought and successfully completed treatment for breast cancer. The angels commit to supporting their warriors by providing them with an emotional support system.
“As a survivor, it’s very emotional for us…We deal with our own demons and our own fight whether we’re in treatment or after treatment,” said Julie Moser, one of the co-founders of Pink Warrior Angels. “We want to remind them that they’re not alone.”
Moser said the 5k is about awareness, educating people, and showing that they have a strong support system. Moser said it was humbling to see how many people attended the event. She said she hopes the event can be meaningful to everyone who participated.
Mason Macintosh (9) ran the 5k with his mother, Monica Archin. Archin said they were running in honor of her grandmother, Elida Lopez, a breast cancer survivor.
Macintosh said his stepmother got him started running and that it makes him very happy that he could run Saturday’s 5k with his mother.
LeeAnn Jordan participated in the 5k along with her cousin and her cousin’s daughter. Jordan came from Magnolia to support the event.
Jordan was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy last December. Jordan said shortly after joining, she received a blanket and a care kit. She said from that day forward, they supported her.
“The love and support that they showed me—I felt like this was my way of paying it forward,” said Jordan. “I just can’t express the gratitude I have for Jennifer and Julie for starting this group and including me and letting me be a part of it.”
The Pink Warrior Angels hope to participate in several pink events for October which is breast cancer awareness month. One of their upcoming events is the Party in Pink Zumbathon at the YMCA in Harker Heights on Sunday Oct 15 from 1 to 3 p.m.