Hope. Without it there is nothing. Hope gets us up in the morning and helps us fall asleep at night. It gives us the will to fight on, even if we physically can’t. But above all, it gives us faith.
Three years ago, a Springfield College student’s mother was diagnosed with a severe form of breast cancer. In order to try and bring his hall together and give him and his family hope, Jes Charette-Fallon, the student’s Resident Assistatnt at the time, found the Rays of Hope Walk & Run Towards the Cure for Breast Cancer.
Since it was founded in 1994, Rays of Hope has held a walk/run for breast cancer in Springfield, helping the Baystate Health Foundation raise over $11.08 million. Every dollar donated helps to fund breast health programs throughout the Baystate area, local breast cancer research and various outreach and education programs.
“The Rays of Hope Walk shows those affected by cancer that they are in our thoughts and that we as a community are supporting them and are there for them not matter what,” said Brittany Anderson, a student at SC.
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death for women, and for someone who has been touched by it, hope means everything.
“Hope is a beautiful thing and it is more important than any medical procedure or diagnosis,” said Charette-Fallon, now a graduate student iand the Resident Director in Abbey-Appelton Hall.
Breast cancer is the most common disease in women, and one in eight will be diagnosed with it throughout their lifetime. Each year over 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 women will die as a result. However, breast cancer does not only affect women. Over 2,150 men are diagnosed with it every year, and 410 men will die.
“Rays of Hope brings people together,” said Anderson, who was one of 22,000 people who participated in this year’s walk/run held at Forest Park this past Sunday. Participants could choose to walk a 3K, 5K or run an 8K through the park and the surrounding neighborhood.
Springfield College raised over $2,700 with the help of 122 students, who walked around campus the past few weeks collecting donations. SC also sent over 200 students to the walk/run on Sunday to represent the college and support those affected by breast cancer.
Every year the walk raises more and more money, and no one expects it to slow down. Next year is the 20th anniversary of the Rays of Hope walk. Come and support the effort.