FAQs: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

What is Making Strides Against Breast Cancer?

The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® is a noncompetitive walk to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. The average distance of each walk ranges from five kilometers (3.1 miles) to five miles, depending upon the location. Events are held in more than 125 cities across the country. This inspiring event unites communities to honor and celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate women about the importance of early detection and prevention, and raise money to fund lifesaving research and support programs to further the progress against this disease.

Who can participate?

Individuals of all ages are welcome to participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. You can participate as part of a team or as an individual. The event will be held rain or shine. Participants in wheelchairs should contact their local American Cancer Society office prior to the event.

How do you register and what are the costs involved?
There is no pre-registration or registration fee for the event. Participants can register on the day of the event or sign up online at http://www.cancer.org/stridesonline. While the event is free, everyone involved is encouraged to collect donations to support the fight against breast cancer.

What benefits does the Making Strides online fundraising tool provide to participants?

The online fundraising tool at http://www.cancer.org/stridesonline allows participants to:

  1. Start a team, join an existing team, or walk as an individual
  2. Create and personalize a fundraising Web page with photos and stories
  3. Send emails encouraging everyone they know to join their team or support them with a donation
  4. Collect donations using their secure, personalized Web site
  5. Track individual progress as well as the progress of team members
  6. Send weekly emails to keep team members motivated
  7. Learn the facts about breast cancer and how to detect it early
  8. Send fun, animated e-cards to friends and family

There are numerous ways to get involved with Making Strides and the Society's other breast cancer support programs:

  • Walk in Making Strides and raise donations from family, friends, and coworkers. The online fundraising tool at www.cancer.org/stridesonline makes raising donations easy.
  • Be a team leader and gather a group of any size to walk with you. Contact your local American Cancer Society office for a team leader kit.
  • Double your fundraising dollars through a matching gifts program. Ask your personnel or human resources department for more details.
  • Sponsor a walker with a generous, tax-deductible contribution.
  • Help at the event by donating your time and talent.
  • Volunteer for the Society's many breast cancer programs in your community, including a program that connects recently diagnosed women with women who have survived the disease (Reach to Recovery®), and a program that helps patients cope with appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment (Look Good...Feel Better®).
  • Become a grassroots advocate to ensure all women have access to screening and treatment, regardless of their income. Learn how you can take action at www.acscan.org/makingstrides.
  • Protect yourself by learning early detection guidelines at www.cancer.org/stridesonline.
  • Sign up for an email mammogram reminder at www.cancer.org/mammogramreminder.

How much money does Making Strides Against Breast Cancer raise?

Since 1993, 3.5 million walkers across the United States have collected more than $230 million to help fight breast cancer through Making Strides events. In 2006, more than 450,000 participants in 120 cities raised more than $40 million to help fight this disease.

What happens with the money raised from Making Strides Against Breast Cancer?

Making Strides contributions support the American Cancer Society's fight against breast cancer on all four fronts: research, education, advocacy, and patient services. The funds raised through Making Strides enable the Society to continue its progress against breast cancer in every community by saving lives, helping those touched by breast cancer, and empowering people to fight back against this disease.

  • Research: The American Cancer Society invests more in breast cancer research than any other voluntary public health organization. Since 1972, it has funded nearly $323 million in breast cancer research grants, resulting in the development of new breast cancer treatments.
  • Education: Detecting breast cancer early, at its most treatable stage, can make the difference between life and death. The American Cancer Society was one of the first organizations to promote mammography. The Society provides guidelines, physician education, and awareness efforts to increase breast cancer screening.
  • Advocacy: Breast cancer is not just a health issue - it is a political one as well. Advocacy efforts by the American Cancer Society affect many of the laws that govern what options are available to people battling cancer. The Society advocates for all women to have access to breast cancer screening and treatment, regardless of income. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer keeps breast cancer on the public agenda and helps promote important public policies, including those which provide access to quality health care and screening for all women. The event is also a reminder about the urgent need for increased research dollars to help find new treatments.

Service Programs: The American Cancer Society offers free programs for patients and families and has offices in more than 3,400 communities across the country to provide assistance when and where people need help. Breast cancer support services and resources that are available from the Society's Cancer Resource Network* include:

  • An online community of cancer survivors, families, and friends who have been touched by cancer and would like to share their experience, strength, and hope (Cancer Survivors NetworkSM)
  • A community-based service that teaches female cancer patients beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during chemotherapy and radiation treatments (Look Good...Feel Better®)
  • An easy-to-use email system designed to ensure that women age 40 and older remember to get their yearly mammogram: The interactive mammography reminder tool will send an email message each year reminding users to "Please, schedule your mammogram today." The Mammogram Reminder system also allows users to send reminders to the women they love so that they will remember to get their mammograms, too.
  • A program run by trained, breast cancer survivor volunteers who help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients cope with their disease by providing emotional support and information (Reach to Recovery®)
  • A service program providing transportation for cancer patients to their treatments and home again (Road to RecoverySM)
  • Free lodging for cancer patients having to travel long distances to receive cancer treatment (Hope Lodge®)

*Program availability may vary by area.

To find out which programs are offered in your area, call your local Mississippi Gulf Coast American Cancer Society office at 228-896-8936, or our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345), anytime, day or night.