Elaine Crowley of Breast Cancer Ireland is a Great Pink Run Ambassador. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

‘The Great Pink Run is more than just a run’

By Katie O’Keeffe

Breast Cancer Ireland is heading out on the road as part of their #MakeTime2Check education and awareness campaign marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is currently underway.

The campaign coincides with the 10 year anniversary of the establishment of the charity.

It involves nationwide on street and experiential activations driving awareness around the eight signs and symptoms of the disease and the importance of early detection. The roadshow will be in Mahon Point Shopping Centre this Saturday 16 October.

23 per cent of those diagnosed with breast cancer annually are estimated to be 20-50 years old, however survival rates in Ireland are rising due to increased awareness and breast screening.

This month Breast Cancer Ireland are going on the road to various locations with demos on how to check your breasts. The roadshow will also allow those attending to speak with the charity’s ambassadors.

Aisling Hurley, CEO of Breast Cancer Ireland, commented: “In this, the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Breast Cancer Ireland as a charity, we’re working hard to drive education around the fact that women of all ages are affected by breast cancer – not simply those over 50 as if often believed to be the case.”

This weekend will also see the annual Great Pink Run with Glanbia take place virtually in local communities.

The aim of the event is to turn the globe pink with participants being encouraged to run, walk or jog the circumference of the globe (40,700km) over the course of the weekend.

Sonia O’Sullivan, Irish sporting legend and longstanding patron of the Great Pink Run commented on the unique sense of community and camaraderie that comes with participating in such a large-scale, and uplifting event.

“The Great Pink Run is more than just a run. It is a gathering of like-minded people with an incredible common bond, encouraging and supporting each other in raising funds and awareness of breast cancer, highlighting the progress that is being made year on year in the fight to find a cure. The sheer colour and joy of the Great Pink Run is what I look forward to every year, and sharing the roads with those that run both in hope, and in memory of friends and family.”

As an indication of the sheer scale of this event, to date over 60,000 people have taken part in the Great Pink Run since it began in 2011, raising over €3.5 million euro to support pioneering research across Ireland – ultimately aimed at developing new and more effective targeted therapies for patients diagnosed with breast cancer and fulfilling the charity’s mission to transform this disease, from often fatal, to a treatable illness that can be maintained long-term.

Consistent and intensive breast cancer research is vital in advancing a cure to what can be a devastating disease. Proceeds from this year’s event will help to fund life-saving research across two areas of particular need: metastatic disease research and investment in driving progression and speed of scientific discovery from research settings into clinical trials.