SOMERSET, NJ - Runners and walkers will participate in the 13th annual Sisters Network of Central NJ 5k Breast Cancer Race/Walk at Colonial Park in Somerset on Saturday, Oct. 7.

"I would like everyone to come out and support the Sisters Network of Central New Jersey," Deputy Mayor Carl Wright said at last week's council meeting. "Our very own Kimberly Francois (Councilwoman At-Large) is a board member of the association and I know she will be out there bright and early to help with setup."

The purpose of the race is to celebrate survivors and to remember families and friends which were lost to the disease. A portion of the funds raised from the 5k walk/run goes towards supporting SNCNJ's Breast Cancer Assistance Program (B-CAP), which provides emergency breast cancer-related services for qualified women during chemo and radiation treatments. 

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"Every project we do, a portion of the money raised goes to our B-CAP program," SNCNJ Co-Founder and President Dorthy Reed said. "Women who are going through treatment can contact us and we will help them financially in some type of way. Whether we pay their PSE&G bill, pay a portion of their rent, or maybe they need help with car insurance. We want to show survivors that someone cares, and wants them to survive."

The 5k is one of many events SNCNJ hold throughout the year to fulfill its mission to advance breast health education, raise awareness about breast cancer, advocate for survivors and to perform community outreach. 

"Our main goal is education and awareness because we feel that's the key to survival," Reed said."If women are educated about getting their mammograms and are aware of their breast, if they see something abnormal, if educated, they will know to go to the doctor to do something. Breast cancer does not hurt, so you can have breast cancer until you get to stage three or stage four. If you catch breast cancer in the early stages, one and two you will be fine."

There is still time to sign up and join a team or create one of your own. Volunteers and vendors are also welcome to join. Click here for details. 

Sisters Network® Inc is a non-profit organization and was formed in January 2000 by Dorothy J. Reed, Pearl Grace (deceased), Lareatha Payne, and Rosa Davis, and is a National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization headquartered in Houston, TX. SNCNJ is an affiliate chapter located at 1201 Hamilton Street in Somerset and has been providing years of health advocacy, education, and survivor-support to the Central New Jersey Community, and the organization also has support from local township officials. 

"The main reason I became involved is that our local African American women community has a demonstrated need for support services, outreach programs, and breast health resources," Francois said. "We have existing service providers and partnerships with Robert Wood Johnson and St Peters who are committed to addressing the needs of breast health which is very important to me as an African American woman. I had a first cousin who died from Breast Cancer and two more first cousins that are currently receiving treatment for breast cancer which hits very close to home for me."

Recently SNCNJ held a fish fry and legendary Mary Barnes served as chef to raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer. 

Aurtherine Steward, one of the vendors at the fish fry said: "in addition to getting mammograms women should also conduct breast exams."  

Shirley Reynolds another vendor said: "I hope it is a success since this is the first one they are having, I hope it happens every year."

In addition to having the fish fry this month, SNCNJ will hold the 1st annual Sisters Network of Central NJ & Road Dawgz MC Pink Your Ride 4life Breast Cancer Ride this Saturday. Every month SNCNJ holds a survivorship meeting on Monday's at their Hamilton Street location from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to find out more call 732-246-8300

More programs from SNCNJ:

THE MAMMOGRAPHY PROJECT This signature program encourages ALL women to get annual mammograms; our slogan for this program is "Early Detection is Your Best Protection", early detection has proven to be one of the best weapons in reducing the breast cancer mortality rate.  The data captured by this program is used in our year over year follow-up statistics. Additionally, we offer targeted education programs such as "The Young But Not The Reckless," a program for teens and college students; the "Silver Foxes" program, designed for Seniors 62 years and over.

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