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Walking to bring awareness

caines | 10/11/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Advocate started walk to fight for the cause

Cancer touches everyones life in one way or another, according to Angela Roberts, 41. While working to bring awareness of breast cancer and discussing it with friends, she came to this realization. It may not have been breast cancer, it could have been cervical cancer, brain cancer or skin cancer, she said. It was amazing to know how cancer touches everyones life and it wasnt just me dealing with it. Roberts had to deal with the pain of cancer even though; she has never been diagnosed with it. She was scarred by cancer when she watched her father tragically die from stomach and liver cancer about eight years ago. She never thought cancer would hit so close to home again, until last year when she found out that her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Roberts felt that God was telling her she had to do something. I had to make a change and let people know that cancer was out there, she said. Its here. Its real and people need to be aware. Within a six-week time frame, she started the Hope 4 L.Y.F.E. Breast Cancer Awareness Walk/Run-A-Thon last year. There were 1600 participants and with the help of those walkers, runners and donators she was able to give 500 uninsured people in the South Dade area free mammograms last year. This year, Roberts is expecting three times as many participants and wants to be able to raise enough money to give 5,000 mammograms. The walk/ run-a-thon will take place at the Homestead Air Reserve Base Park Oct. 20. 2012 at 8 a.m. Roberts said the reason why the proceeds of the walk/run-a-thon are used to fund the mammograms of uninsured people is because when her best friend was diagnosed with cancer, she had just been laid off and was uninsured. But since her best friend knew that cancer was prevalent in her family she paid for the mammogram and her breast cancer was detected at an early stage, and since she has had surgery and had the cancer removed. Roberts said that even as a business owner she is uninsured and finds mammograms to be expensive. She said mammograms are $150-$180. I know there are other individuals out there who need one, she said They may be individuals who dont have health insurance, who have been laid off their jobs, or are just going through tough times right now. She said she wants the walk to get bigger and better and she encourages other organizations to partner with her. She plans on the walk becoming national in 10 years and eventually to use proceeds to help fund breast cancer research. According to Roberts, when it comes to breast cancer, Black people perish the most because of a lack of knowledge, resources and finances, when we dont have to. She said this free mammogram could lead to early detection, which can save lives. I just need the public to come out and support, she said. There is no limit to what we can do when everyone comes together. The event is sponsored by: Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Dept., Community Health of South Florida, Inc., and Chicks N Wings, Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay, Miami-Dade Medical College, Living For Health, Dwight Bullard State Senate candidate of district 39, Beauty Schools of America, Commissioner Dennis C. Moss of District 9 and Restaurant Depot. For more information, contact Romanita Ford at 305-252-4853. All donations are tax deductible. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com