Pandemic pushes Breast Cancer Awareness Month events virtual

Posted at 5:54 AM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 08:29:17-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It's time to break out the pink -- October 1 marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

But just like most other events and celebrations this year, it's going to look a little bit different this time around.

"We had to make the difficult decision earlier this year to go virtual," said Kristin Harris, Executive Director for Susan G. Komen Central and Eastern Virginia, of the non-profit's yearly More Than Pink walk.

The annual fundraiser at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk typically brings together hundreds of breast cancer survivors and supporters and would almost surely break Virginia's 250-person limit on gatherings.

More than that, Harris says it would also put people at risk for COVID-19.

"The majority of our population is at-risk by virtue of being a breast cancer survivor or family member," she said.

For this year's virtual walk, participants can sign up at and then walk at any location at any time. They're encouraged to post pictures to social media using #walkwhereyouare.

It's estimated that more than 300,000 people in the U.S. will have developed some form of breast cancer in 2020.

Harris, who's battling metastatic breast cancer herself, tells News 3 fundraising this year has been more difficult, meaning fewer dollars for research and treatment at a time when people need it most.

"Our treatment assistance fund can provide financial assistance for housing, food, copays, medications, elder care, child care, really the basic needs that people have right now when they're fighting cancer in the time of COVID," she said.

Harris adds that virtual events are the best way people can help.

Susan G. Komen is planning a virtual opening ceremony for the More Than Pink walk on October 10 at 9 a.m.