Rays of Hope Shines Light on Breast Cancer Fight

SPRINGFIELD — While the annual Rays of Hope — A Walk Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer works to reduce and eradicate breast cancer, there are other benefits to those who step off each year as part of the walk around Forest Park in October.

Studies show that brisk walking can reduce the occurrence of breast cancer by 20{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}. Results of the 20-year-long Nurse’s Health Study indicate that brisk walking, defined as 15-20 minutes per mile for one hour a day, is associated with decreased risk of breast cancer.

This year’s Rays of Hope Walk, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 29, is open to anyone and includes a two-mile or five-mile route through Forest Park in Springfield.

In addition to improving their own well-being with a healthy walk, last year’s more than 7,000 women, men and children walkers raised $620,000 for the Rays of Hope to fund breast cancer research, programs and services for breast cancer patients and survivors, and state-of-the art equipment at Baystate Medical Center’s Compre-hensive Breast Center, part of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, as well as breast cancer care at Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, and various community projects and organizations such as the Cancer Connection and Cancer House of Hope.

“View your walking time as that part of the day you get to enjoy nature, be with friends, and do something healthy for yourself, as well as support a good cause,” said Susan Murray, general manager of WMAS Radio, who is serving as co-chair of this year’s Rays of Hope.

“All funds raised from the Walk remain local and make an impact on our own friends and neighbors,” added co-chair Linda Fawcett of Carlson GMAC Real Estate in Wilbraham.

Team captains have been busy forming teams, while individual walkers continue to sign up and gather pledges for the walk. Teams must include at least 10 members, and there is a suggested minimum of $100 for each walker to raise.

Individual walker registration will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 29 outside Temple Beth El, and the Walk will be held rain or shine.

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