Denise McClain—mother, daughter, photographer, Tempe native, ASU graduate, attorney, community activist, promise keeper—quite a resume.
Oh, yes, one other addendum to an already impressive curriculum vitae: president of the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Phoenix.
Denise’s long commitment to the latter cause followed her mother being diagnosed with breast cancer almost four years ago. At that point in her life, all she wanted was to help her mom get through the difficult diagnosis.
Her mom died earlier this year, but Denise didn’t give up the fight.
Now in her second year as board president, Denise has put her heart and soul into the job because she made a promise a few years ago to her mother.
She was hungry for information and willing to do whatever it took to aid her mother.
A friend suggested she look to the Susan G. Komen website, where Denise found a massive amount of useful information—although judging from her resume, she isn’t one to stop with just acquiring information.
As with most of the tasks she undertakes, Denise took this one a step further and dove in head first to do all she could to help her mom and the countless other women who are diagnosed each year with this life threatening disease.
When she was approached to join the Komen board, it took a little coaxing from her mom before she signed on.
On Sunday, Oct. 12, the 16th Annual Race for the Cure will take place in downtown Phoenix.
The Phoenix Race is the largest 5K event in Arizona, as well as one of the top-10 Race for the Cure events in the country.
This year the race begins with a celebration honoring the survivors. Women who have survived breast cancer come together at the event for The Pretty in Pink Parade.
The parade begins at 6:30 a.m. and focuses on what the whole event is about: those who have fought against the disease and are present and doing what they can for others, working ultimately to help ensure that sometime in the not-too-distant future a survivor of breast cancer will be as common as someone who has gotten over strep throat.
Of the money that is raised in the Race for the Cure, 75 percent stays within our community and is used for grants to bring education, screening and treatment to people throughout the Valley.
The remaining 25 percent is pooled with funds from other Komen organizations and used for research grants.
A quick look at the 2008 grant-recipient list on the Susan G. Komen Phoenix website gives just a glimpse into how far these donations carry on.
This year is a difficult one for Denise. On the big day this year, rather than racing in honor of her mother, she will be racing in memory of her.
Her mom lost her battle against breast cancer in January, but Denise has kept her promise to her mom and will continue to do all she can to fight Breast Cancer until a cure is found.
And with Denise and many others like her working to fight the disease, there’s no doubt this year’s event will once again be successful.
To donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation visit its website at www.komenphoenix.org.
There is still time to donate to Race for The Cure as well as many other ways help in the fight against Breast Cancer.