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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Presented By First-Time Sponsor Presence Health: Komen Chicago Honors More Than Pink Heroes, Including Actor Jon Seda, In Celebration Of 20th Anniversary Mother’s Day Race For The Cure On May 14

Press Release – CHICAGO: Susan G. Komen Chicago is announcing its More than Pink Heroes who are being honored for their bravery and compassion, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Mother’s Day Race for the Cure Presented by Presence Health: where cancer treatment becomes cancer care. The iconic 5K Fun Run/Walk will be held May 14 and has been moved to a new lakefront location, Montrose Harbor, as part of the grand anniversary celebration.

Komen Chicago is thrilled to have Jon Seda, formerly a star of NBC’s “Chicago PD” and currently on “Chicago Justice,” as the celebrity guest of honor and a More than Pink Hero. “He’s the perfect choice, as he plays a hero on TV and is our real-life hero, thanks to his commitment to Race for the Cure,” says Bonnie Gordon, Komen Chicago executive director.

Seda is being recognized along with others who have lost loved ones to breast cancer or faced the disease themselves, activists and volunteers, and caregivers who compassionately support patients through diagnosis and treatment. This includes Chicago Police Lieutenant Jessica Jones, 39, and Chicago Police Sergeant Melinda Linas, 41. Both are mothers of young children and are currently fighting breast cancer. As real-life police heroes, Jones and Linas are thrilled to join TV police hero Seda to raise awareness and funds and help Komen achieve its goal of reducing the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.

The More than Pink Heroes, sponsored by Presence Health, are available to share their inspiring stories with the media (contact Jenny Quinn, jquinn@mekkymedia.com, to arrange) and will be honored on Race Day during the Survivor Parade. In addition to Seda, Jones and Linas, Heroes include:

  • Anthony Braglia, an Illinois State University student and president of his Sigma Nu fraternity, who lost his mother, Heidi, to breast cancer. He shared her story on Twitter, and for every re-tweet, his fraternity donated $1 to Race for the Cure, raising $3,600.
  • Toya Cannon, a nurse who has cared for those with cancer and suddenly found herself with her own breast cancer diagnosis, no job and no insurance. A Komen Chicago grant to Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center helped her get treatment.
  • Kathy Webb, founder of Komen Chicago and now a breast cancer survivor. Webb participated in the first National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., shortly after her friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. When Webb moved to Chicago, there was no local affiliate, so she established one.

Gordon says she’s thankful for the significant support from Presence Health, which will help Komen Chicago provide screenings for those who can’t otherwise afford them, fund global research and empower people with knowledge. “More than 1,000 Chicago-area women and men die each year from breast cancer, and there is a large disparity in the city, with the mortality rate of African-American women being 40 percent higher than white women,” according to Gordon. “Funds raised through Race for the Cure will help close this gap by making sure more women have access to early detection, which is the key to survival.”

“Komen Chicago shares the Presence Health mission of compassionate care to save lives, and many of our patients at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center have benefitted from health services made possible by Komen grants. This wonderful event also creates further awareness regarding the new Cancer and Specialty Care Center at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, serving many in need of cancer care and treatment on Chicago’s West and North sides where previously there was a cancer care desert,” says Michael Englehart, president and CEO Presence Health. “We are proud to partner with Komen and sponsor Race for the Cure and the More than Pink Heroes helping to make this one of the most successful events ever and to have a truly positive impact on the lives of many.”

At the event’s Presence Health tent, public and participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Presence Health’s oncological care and treatment programs, and how they can sign-up for mammography testing. In addition, Presence Health physical therapists will be available to provide participants information on injury prevention and orthopedic care.

Registration is now open at www.KomenChicago.org (for teams or individuals). Participants are asked to commit to raising at least $180, the average cost of a mammogram in Chicagoland. Any participant who donates a minimum of $180 will be part of the national Pink Cape Campaign and receive a hero cape to wear during the Race, plus be invited to brunch at the Hero Cafe. Registration fees are $40 for adults, $35 for survivors and $25 for kids (four and under are free). The Race will feature a 5K Fun Run/Walk that kicks off at 9 a.m. Main stage program begins at 8.This year’s Race includes an optional Shades of Pink Powder Path.

About Komen Chicago: Susan G. Komen’s promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by energizing science to find cures, ensuring quality care for all and empowering people with knowledge. Komen Chicago donates 75 percent of net funds raised to community grants and dedicates 25 percent to global research.

About Presence Health: Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system in Illinois, serving over 4 million people in 11 counties. With over 150 sites of compassionate care including 12 hospitals, over 17,000 associates and more than 4,000 medical professionals, Presence Health has annual revenue of $2.6 billion.

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