Race for the Cure donations down 25 percent - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Race for the Cure donations down 25 percent

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Roger Justice's tattoo for his wife Tina Roger Justice's tattoo for his wife Tina
PHOENIX -

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Tens of thousands of valley residents came together on Sunday in an effort to fight the sometimes deadly and all too often devastating disease.

The 20th Annual Race for the Cure took place in Phoenix.

While the need is up, nearly 5,000 thousand women in Arizona will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, it seems donations are down.

"When I was 40, I went to get a mammogram. Everything came out okay and everything was fine, but six weeks later I felt a lump myself," said Tina Justice, a breast cancer survivor.

Tina Justice spent the past year receiving treatment for breast cancer.

Every step she took Sunday morning was a celebration of her recovery.

"It was shocking, it's the worst thing that has ever happened to me and my family," said Tina Justice. "I had to go through chemo and radiation but I'm here today."

Survivors Denise Bodevin and Renee Ruef also were among the 4,470 women diagnosed with the disease in Arizona this year.

"I wouldn't have survived if they wouldn't have found it, because they found it in time," said Bodevin.
 
"It was just a year ago I got diagnosed just with a random mammogram," said Ruef.

About 21,500 people walked for a cure and nearly 1.6 million was raised, but event organizers said there was officially a 25 percent decrease in participation this year over last.

"I think the controversy took affect," said Heather Roberts, with Race for the Cure.

Roberts is the race and special events director and said the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood may have played a part in the lower attendance.

Earlier this year, the organization pulled funding from Planned Parenthood but quickly reversed the decision.

The move made national headlines for quite some time.

"We want to make sure people get the right message about Komen, that we are local, that we are here to help women," said Roberts. "We fund breast health programs."

"Women need to get their tests done and I mean no matter what," said Tina Justice.

75 percent of the money raised here stays here to treat patients like Tina Justice.

Her husband's tattoo is a telltale sign that they don't care about the politics, only the cure.

"Pretty awesome, it's something I knew we would get here but it still feels great," said Roger Justice.  

Donations will be accepted through Oct. 31.

Organizers said concerns about the economy may have also played a factor in the decreased donations.

Race for the Cure Phoenix
www.komenphoenix.org

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