JERSEY CITY, NJ - "This is my fight song, take back my life song." Katy Perry's version of Rachel Platten's "Fight Song" anthem blared across Liberty State Park Sunday morning as thousands of women and men gathered to participate in the tenth annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure. Perry's lyrics did indeed apply to the many breast cancer survivors who came to celebrate their lives and support the cause for research and a cure for the disease that affects one of every eight American women.
TAPinto.net was the platinum sponsor of the event, which included a 5K run and walk involving families, corporate employee groups, co-survivors, students and health activists. TAPinto franchisees and company founder Michael Shapiro have provided media support and marketing for Susan G. Komen North Jersey throughout the TAPinto network of online local newspapers in New Jersey. Event announcer Anthony Johnson of ABC's Eyewitness News praised TAPinto for "helping to spread the word across the internet."
Shapiro joined Kelly Witkowski, Komen's executive director for North Jersey, to celebrate the event, as TAPinto sponsored a photo booth. Guests were invited to don festive pink accessories and pose with the Komen logo. Professional photography was provided by Eloquent Studios of Chester, New Jersey and social media support was provided by TAPinto franchisees.
Witkowski said that she was delighted by the "beautiful sea of pink" as survivors gathered on stage to mark their achievement by the number of years that they have been cancer-free. Speaking to the crowd she added, "Your love and enthusiasm gives us hope for the future. We are with you. We are with you to find a cure. We are with you to get care. We are with you to celebrate that you have beaten breast cancer."
Her remarks added to the sentiment expressed on the event's T-shirts: "Be bold. Be fearless. Be more."
Charles "Get Out of My" Way, a former fullback for the New York Giants, awarded the winners a medallion featuring the iconic pink ribbon and the Statue of Liberty. Lords and ladies from Medieval Times added their stateliness and decorum, when they were not sword-fighting or riding horses, to the program. The New Jersey Devils' mascot made an appearance, as well.
Montclair's Patty Steele of WCBS-FM 101.1's "The Big Show with Scott Shannon and Patty Steele" described her own experience as a three-year breast cancer survivor, which she shared with her radio audience on an ongoing basis throughout her illness. She said that she had "an abundance of joy" because the "wonderful secret" of prevailing over breast cancer was the amount of love and support she received from her family, co-workers and listeners. Quoting French author Albert Camus, she added, "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
Joy, celebration and survival all ran in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Liberty State Park this morning, and they were all winners.