Kentucky State University hosts annual 3K to raise money for breast cancer research

This year's walk honored Crystal Woodard, a co-founder of the walk
Breast Cancer

FRANKFORT, Ky (WTVQ)- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and every year since 2019, Kentucky State University holds an annual event during homecoming weekend to raise awareness.

It’s called the Kentucky State University Alumni Breast Cancer 3 Walk/ Run. On Friday, hundreds showed up in support, including Gerina Whethers.

Whethers knows the impact cancer can have on a family.

“I lost my mother and my aunt to breast cancer. My mother was 45 years old at the time. And my aunt at 50. And we learned a lot about healthcare, what it means,” Whethers told WTVQ.

Little did she know, ten years later, she would also be diagnosed.

“This breast cancer is no joke. So I went through chemo, had a 3 year old at the time and finishing up law school. But here I am 22 years later. And I’m here for a reason,” said Whethers.

Reasons like hers help keep the tradition alive in Frankfort, where the annual walk continues. The walk helps promote healthy life styles, raises money for cancer research, and scholarships.

“It’s important that we educate ourselves. A lot of our communities have disparities, where we’re not educated, we’re not receiving the health treatment that we need,” said Tyrie Buchanan, a co-founder of the walk.

This year’s walk is extra special. It honored Crystal Woodard, a co-founder of the walk.
In 2018, Crystal was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer- an aggressive form. She lost her battle in July.

“She worked so hard to make sure all women were informed with the different treatments,” said her nephew Chris Whitley.

Woodard’s family say she was known for her giving heart. They says they want her legacy to live on.

“How giving she was , how she always put others first. And I think that goes a long way with what she did for a living. She was accustomed to working with the under served in the community and that’s what we want to continue with her legacy,” said Cleo Whitley, Woodard’s sister.

In fact, the scholarship will be given in Crystal Woodard’s honor, according to her family.

For Whethers, it’s events like this walk and the support they bring, that really keep her going.

“It’s not an easy disease. But the more we learn from one another and the more we celebrate life, the better off we’re gonna be with what we have to deal with every day,” said Whethers.

Participants say it’s important for women to go get a mammogram every year. They say that could be the difference in catching cancer early, which could mean a successful recovery.

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