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'Warriors in Pink' discuss importance of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

This year's event to be held virtually
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 14:53:07-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On your mark. Get set for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which will look a bit different this year.

WPTV's Tania Rogers spoke to some "Warriors in Pink" as they prepare to cross the virtual finish line for a worthy cause.

Although Janie Copes and Jessica Patykula are decades apart in age and live on opposite ends of the Palm Beach County-Martin County line, they're closer connected than one might think.

That's because they're both breast cancer survivors.

Patykula, 39, learned of her diagnosis shortly after giving birth to her youngest daughter.

"I was actually breastfeeding my youngest daughter at 13 months when my husband actually discovered the lump," she said Thursday. "It was devastating news to a young mom."

SPECIAL SECTION: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Copes, 71, moved to Florida in 2001 and started participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure shortly thereafter, never thinking it would happen to her. That changed in 2012.

"Lo and behold, in 2012, there I was, a survivor," she said.

Their stories have happy endings. But not everyone is as fortunate.

That's where Debbie Hollister comes in. As chair of the Warriors in Pink program, she knows the importance of the race, not just for its charitable contributions, but for the much-needed emotional support from the community.

"We rely on people that are out in the community to gather with us and support us in the journey that we go through," Hollister said.

To register for this year's virtual race, click here.

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