Race for the Cure out to stop breast cancer

Race for the Cure out to stop breast cancer

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A cure for breast cancer may not be here yet, but Saturday's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure continues to set a fast pace to find it.

For everyone involved, from volunteers to survivors, this Race for a Cure is also a race for life.

Before the race, there was a garden to tend. Dix's Garden. The garden is named for breast cancer victim Dix Nord. The gardener: is her daughter, Sophie Nord.

"It's getting better every year," Nord said. "Last year, it was black and white. This year, we added some color. It's a little bigger every year, so hopefully it will keep growing."

Nord said it's a reminder of her mother, but it's also a way to help those survive the disease.

"I'm just grateful that we're able to do something to raise money for people that are not fortunate enough to be able to care for themselves."

One of Dix's closest friends, Elaine Dukes, found out she had breast cancer a year ago.

"When I heard that word, I didn't hear anything else that my doctor was telling me," said Dukes.

Now, she's been named Survivor of the Year.

"I'm called a NED, because I have no existing disease right now, which is wonderful," Dukes said. "I'm going to be here for years to come."

Part of the reason is she found her cancer early.

"I was very, very fortunate, but that's because I did self-examinations," Dukes said. "I've always done that. If you do that, you can catch it early. Don't sit back and wait."

This is the first evening race in its four years, and had more than 100 participants. Seventy five percent of the money raised stays in the community. Survivor Debbie Clark is among those who've been helped.

"Gulfport Memorial Foundation and Susan G. Komen both helped me out with my chemo, and it went on for a whole year," Clark said. "So, I can't thank them enough and help them enough in return."

Tina Gabriel is the event's volunteer coordinator.

"It's saving lives," Gabriel said. "It's really making a difference, and you've just got to start at the bottom and chip away, and hopefully, one day we make a big enough difference where we don't have to worry about it at all."

The event is put on by the Mississippi Steel Magnolias, the largest Susan G. Komen affiliate in the state.

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