Backflips for breast cancer

Katie Corbut

Gymnasts hold annual ‘Flip for the Cure’ meet

Many women know someone or know of someone who has been affected by breast cancer. It’s a disease that affects women of all ages globally and is responsible for taking the lives of many grandmothers, mothers and daughters. It’s a disease that changes lives forever.

This Friday in the M.A.C. Center, the Flashes will host Rutgers and Northern Illinois in the annual “Flip for the Cure” benefit meet. All teams are expected to wear specially designed pink leotards, and fans are asked to participate by wearing pink to support breast cancer research.

T-shirts will be sold for $5 and all proceeds will directly benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Those entering the meet wearing pink will pay no admission fee, and the “pinkest” fan will win a giant pink beanbag chair. Donations from local merchants will also be raffled off in gift baskets for all ages.

The meet is dedicated to survivors, family members affected by the disease and those currently struggling through treatment, to which the gymnasts extend their greatest sympathy.

The team feels it is crucial that girls learn about breast cancer at an early age. This meet attracts many young gymnasts from around the area, and as the gymnasts sign autographs for the young hopefuls, they will be receiving informational pamphlets about breast cancer.

Before the meet begins, the gymnasts invite those recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and those who have survived to tell their story.

According to the Susan G. Komen Web site, there is a five-year survival rate for 89 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer. In other words, 89 out of 100 women will survive breast cancer for at least five years. Chances of survival increase with early detection.

If detected early, this five-year rate increases to 98 percent. Increased awareness, early detection and having the research to treat breast cancer can help save lives and improve lives of women.

The gymnasts agree that this competition is a way to demonstrate to women around the world with breast cancer that they’re not alone.

Contact sports reporter Katie Corbut at [email protected].