Channel 9′s Allison Latos leads 'drive’ to support breast cancer research

Channel 9′s Allison Latos leads 'drive’ to support breast cancer research

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, and there is a big event happening Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the annual Making Strides Walk for Breast Cancer Research.

It will be different this year because of COVID-19 -- instead of walking, supporters are driving for a cure.

“Cancer hasn’t stopped in the middle of the pandemic and we haven’t either. So making STRIDES as always been more than a walk, it’s a movement, it’s a movement to end breast cancer,” said Megan Nelson with the American Cancer Society.

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One local survivor said she wants to help others who may have just have diagnosed understand what to expect.

Andrea Simmons was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47. She joined other women and a man, each writing a new chapter in a new book.

“The name of the book is ‘Twelve Shades of Breast Cancer,’” Simmons said. “It’s myself and 11 other survivors sharing their journey through breast cancer, each one of us diagnosed with a different form of breast cancer and a different journey.”

Local organization helps women fighting breast cancer during pandemic

Simmons noticed what felt like a bug bite in the center of her chest. She said people are not taught to check that area during a self breast exam.

“You are taught to check lumps in your breasts and underneath you arms, however, part of your breast tissue also goes up to your chest near your collar bone and over near the mid-chest and that is actually where my bump was found,” Simmons said.

Saturday’s event started at 8 a.m. at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos was there to emcee it.

COVID-19 has drastically changed the landscape for many nonprofits. For the American Cancer Society, the decline in donations means it is facing a 50% reduction in research funding.

That’s why the support and the fight are more important than ever to help get everyone across the finish line.

“We are excited to have that victory lap and cross that finish line,” Nelson said.