Adina Ziegler insists you don’t have to suffer to walk or run in support of breast cancer research. With friends to talk to, supporters egging you on, and a good cause serving as wind at your back, even a three-kilometer walk will seem like a breeze.
Ziegler is gathering a team of walkers from the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey for this year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Branch Brook Park in Newark on Sunday, April 25.
A member of the federation’s Women’s Campaign, she is hoping the team will be joined by groups from the federation’s partner agencies, the YM-YWHA of Union County, Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, and the Jewish Educational Center.
“You can take as long as you want” to complete the walk, she added, lest the word “race” get misunderstood. This is a race to health, not exhaustion.
The Komen Race for the Cure events honor breast cancer survivors and co-survivors and memorialize those lost to the disease. The race also plays a vital role in raising funds for research, education, prevention, advocacy, and treatment. Each year over 1.3 million people take part in Race for the Cure events around the world.
The federation participants are dedicating their walk to all the women in the community who are currently battling breast cancer. And everyone on the team is aiming to raise as much as they can from supporters.
Ziegler has served as a volunteer for the event for the past two years, together with her daughter Sarah, now 16. She said she was inspired to get involved by her friend, Lisa Berkower, one of the organizers of the Newark walk.
“I’m very glad to be walking this year,” Ziegler said. “The spirit among the walkers is amazing. It’s really very inspiring.”
Like almost everyone, she has a history of the illness in her family. “Breast cancer affects all of us — especially Jewish women,” she said. “I feel it’s a really important cause.”
She’s hoping for good weather this year. “Last year it was incredibly hot. The year before was freezing cold,” she said. “But either way, it should be beautiful. Branch Brook Park has more cherry blossom trees than you see in Washington, DC.”