Susan G. Komen North Jersey to ‘Race for the Cure’

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Breast cancer is not usually considered a cause for celebration, but for the hundreds of survivors expected at the 2016 Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure, presented by ShopRite and Xfinity, it’s a much anticipated day to celebrate. Nearly 3,000 people are expected to be at the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange on Sunday, May 1. Placing survivorship front-and-center of race activities has long been the signature of the Komen North Jersey Race, now in its ninth year. And for the first time, the race will also honor “Forever Fighters,” those women and men who are Stage IV or metastatic and are fighting breast cancer every day of their lives.

Leading the launch of the “Forever Fighters” will be honorary forever fighter ambassador Lois Solomon of East Brunswick, who has been battling the disease for seven years. Shortly after she was diagnosed, Solomon and her friends were looking for a breast cancer race so they could immediately get involved, and the Komen North Jersey Race was the “next one up,” she said in a press release. Since then, her race team, “Lois’s Breast Friends,” has raised more than $38,000 for Komen North Jersey, and they’ve already raised close to $5,000 for this year’s race. “I am very honored to have been chosen to represent all the women and men who are fighting metastatic breast cancer,” Solomon said in the release. “It’s important that people understand more about what it’s like. I’m not a survivor, but I’m surviving. I’m more of a warrior. Every minute of every day, I’m fighting.”

Survivors and forever fighters will be celebrated, honored and remembered throughout the day. Every registered survivor receives a special T-shirt and a commemorative survivor or forever fighter medal. Before the start of the 5K walk, they will be honored at a survivor ceremony on the main stage, led by Dr. Michael Scoppetuolo Jr., chief medical officer of The Cancer Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. With their families and friends, special guests will gather in the Survivor & Forever Fighter Tent to enjoy a hot breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m., mini-makeovers, massages, door prizes, giveaways and more. The Garden of Hope provides participants with a special area to honor or remember someone touched by breast cancer.

The Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure’s official Master of Ceremonies will be WABC-TV Eyewitness News reporter Anthony Johnson, a high-energy, award-winning journalist. Johnson, who has been a member of the the Eyewitness News team since 2001, was recently honored with the regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio & Television News Directors Association.

Main events and activities include official USATF Timed 5K Run, a 5K Walk, a 1.5 Mile Fun Walk, and a Kids for the Cure Color Run sponsored by Medieval Times. For the younger set, the brave knights from the Lyndhurst Castle of Medieval Times will be marching into the Kid’s Zone to thrill the crowd with a live jousting tournament. Other child-friendly activities include face painting, arts and crafts, and strolling entertainment. The Susan G. Komen Merchandise Tent is the place to go to purchase that perfect pink “something” to show support for the cause. Participants can capture the day with a free photo at the Komen Moment Photo Tent, complete with pink carpet, stanchions, pink ropes and a Komen-branded backdrop.

After the race, there is plenty to do nearby, courtesy of Essex County, which is providing a special discount for registered race participants at the Turtle Back Zoo, miniGOLF Safari and Codey Arena.

Register for the ninth annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure, or make a donation to help save lives and end breast cancer forever at