Sista Strut raises money to fight breast cancer

May 13, 2018 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. — More than 200 people turned out Saturday morning for the Florence Sista Strut at the Florence Center.

The second annual event features a 3K walk around the Florence Veterans park as well as resources that highlight breast cancer in the African-American population.

“This event we do all over the United States and this is the second one I’ve done in Florence so I’m super excited,” said Jamie Ulrey, senior vice president of sales for iHeart Media in Florence. “iHeart has been doing it since 2009 so we just keep growing it and growing and taking it to more markets.”

“The number one objective we have is that we want to spread awareness to women of color of breast cancer. They have a higher mortality rate and they’re diagnosed younger than Caucasians or anyone else,” Ulrey said.

“I’m a survivor. I’ve been a survivor for six months,” said Odessa Cannon as she wrapped up registration for the event. “I was diagnosed in November of 2017 and I am here to stay.”

“I’m here to support others and to tell how important it is to get your mammogram done early. Early detection is the key to survival,” Cannon said. She is a 64-year-old grandmother to 18 and great-grandmother to four. “I found mine by going to get a mammogram. I couldn’t feel it or anything. They did a mammogram and found a spot there.”

“Our biggest thing is we’ve found an opportunity to use our urban brands to spread awareness to get women to test early, to do self-exams, to be proactive to to develop a sisterhood to fight this disease,” Ulrey said.

At the end of the event, Ulrey said, the company would write a check for a portion of the proceeds to the Cancer Relief Fund Group at Carolinas Hospital.

“They use that money, keep it right here in the Pee Dee for our ladies,” Ulrey said.

“The Lord will keep me here and I give God all the glory,” Cannon said.