Brunch Bunch will be “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” in Southborough on Saturday

Above: Last year, “the Brunch Bunch” posed with researchers and staff from ACS when they took part in the Boston “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk. This year, they’ll be taking strides in Southborough. (contributed)

Participants can’t gather en masse in Boston to walk in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser. That’s not stopping Southborough’s Lynne McKay and Deb Dufault.

McKay has walked for the caused each fall since 1998. She’s not letting the pandemic get in the way of her 23rd year – especially since the American Cancer Society is communicating that the pandemic has created a greater need for fundraising.

So, the two residents and their Brunch Bunch team will be taking their strides in Southborough this Saturday. (For Dufault, it will be her 11th year walking.)

The Brunch Bunch, sporting their fabulous pink attire, will walk a five mile route in town. You can cheer them on through waves (or honks) as they go by.

Look for the pink bunch tomorrow, Saturday, October 24th. They’ll be beginning on Ledge Hill Road at 9:00 am. From they’re they’ll head down School Street, then Main Street to Middle Road to General Henry Knox Road to Parkerville. They will return on Main Street and School Street to Ledge Hill Road.

But you don’t have to cheer them on in person to support them. (Or even if you do, you can double up on that support.) You can contribute to their fundraising efforts. (Click the following links for McKay’s page and Dufault’s page.) 

An announcement about their walk explains the special need for fundraising this year. (You can scroll down to learn more about McKay’s and Dufault’s more personal reasons for walking.) It explains that the pandemic has created additional obstacles and burdens for cancer patients. In addition, there is worry that breast cancer research funding could be slashed if fundraising trends don’t change:

Lynne and Deb and their team are passionate about raising funds for the American Cancer Society for the services and the research funding they provide. ACS funds young, brilliant researchers who are not established so cannot get government funding. The research done on breast cancer will also impact other types of cancer.

Earlier this summer, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network released a second national survey showing the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on cancer patients and survivors.

  • 87% of respondents said the pandemic had affected their healthcare in some manner, up from 51% in an April survey.
  • Of those in active treatment 79% reported delays to their healthcare (up from 27%), including 17% of patients who reported delays in their cancer therapy.
  • Nearly one in four patients surveyed say the pandemic has made it more difficult to contact their providers with questions about their healthcare needs
  • One in five say they are worried their cancer could be growing or returning due to delays and interruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Nearly half (48%) of patients said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a moderate or major effect on their mental health.
  • In particular, 67% said they worry it will be harder for them to stay safe when social distancing and other restrictions are relaxed in their area.

On top of the impact patients are feeling, and the support ACS can provide for patients, the American Cancer Society is facing a minimum $200M deficit due to all fundraising events being postponed or canceled. The American Cancer Society’s mission is now at risk. If trends don’t change, ACS will be forced to cut research funding by 50%. Even more, cancer screening rates for breast, colon and cervical cancers fell as much as 94% since March. The impact of screening tests, such as mammograms, being delayed is frightening. This will lead to a devastating increase in cancer cases that will go undiagnosed for prolonged periods of time resulting in later staged cancers which are the most difficult to treat.

McKay’s page shares her personal reasons for walking: 

the Brunch Bunch - 2019I am walking because I hope that someday nobody will have to hear the words “You have breast cancer.” I am walking so there will continue to be new treatments for people who have heard those words. Visit our team page to see the names of the many people we walk in support of, in celebration of, and in memory of.

This is my 23rd year walking in Making Strides with a wonderful group of friends from Weymouth, Wheaton, Southborough, and EMC. It seems amazing that it was 22 years ago when I first walked in 1998. As I celebrate my 22nd year anniversary as a survivor, I hope you will support me in my efforts to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.

Today, there is more hope than ever for people facing breast cancer. However, there is much work to be done to find promising new treatments, increase awareness about the importance of mammograms, help all women get access to screenings and care, and connect those impacted by the disease with the information, day-to-day help, and emotional support they need to wage their battle against breast cancer.

I believe that hope for a world without breast cancer starts with me. That is why I’m walking in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

Dufault’s page explains:

In Memory of Denise (from Dufault's page)I am walking in memory of my sister, Denise and in loving support of the survivors and warriors in my life. We must fight until there is a cure. This year the walk will be a little bit different, but the need to raise funds remains.

Because I know I will make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer. I know that by raising funds and walking in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, I will help save lives from breast cancer.

I believe that one day breast cancer will never steal another year from anyone’s life. Making Strides is not only my opportunity to join my community to fight back against breast cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and awareness to help those facing the disease. That’s why I’m walking.

Who I am Making Strides For
My reason for walking in the Making Strides event is personal just like every other walker’s story. We all walk because we’ve been affected by breast cancer in some way, and because the Making Strides event gives us the power to make a difference and fight back. This is my opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and help raise funds for groundbreaking research as well as information and services for people fighting breast cancer.

Why I Support the American Cancer Society

Every day, the American Cancer Society helps people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early when it is easiest to treat. They provide free information and services when and where people need it throughout their journey to get well. They are investing in groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer, and are working to ensure access to mammograms for women who need them. . . 

Together, we can make strides to end breast cancer!

Good luck ladies!

Updated (10/23/20 1:05 pm): I initially misspelled Lynne’s first name.

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