WILMINGTON, N.C. -- With more than 150 races around the world annually, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation gathers individuals fighting personal battles with breast cancer, family members and friends showing support. For one Marine, racing for his aunt is a small way to show her she is not alone in her fight. Sgt. Charles Gallagher, a systems administrator with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and native St. Cloud, Fla., participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Wilmington, N.C., March 2, 2013.
Gallagher ran in the race to show support for his aunt, Kathleen Kennard of Newnan, Ga., who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
“My aunt is near and dear to me. This race is my way of showing support for the fight she is fighting,” said Gallagher. “And for women in general who are in the same fight.” Gallagher’s aunt has always played a large role in his life, and this was his way of giving back to her.
“We are very close. When my dad passed away she was always there for me,” said Gallagher.
Participating in the race was not the only way Gallagher showed support for his aunt.
“Aside from running, I shaved my head when she started to lose her hair as a side effect of chemotherapy,” said Gallagher, adding that his Marines shaved their heads to show support as well. Gallagher does not plan on participating in any events in the near future, but says this was not his last race. “I have nothing planned as of right now, but in the future, I’d like to participate in more of these types of runs,” said Gallagher. “My aunt thinks participating in events is a great way for people to show their support of breast cancer and other diseases. Participating in this race meant a lot to her and she is greatly appreciative of it.”
Gallagher added that even if individuals were unable to participate in this race, it is still important to get involved with spreading awareness and supporting cures.
“Marines can always donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation and other charities that raise awareness. Marines can participate in runs, give blood, and if possible donate their hair to the Locks of Love foundation,” Gallagher said. “It’s not just Marines though; people in general need to show their support. This is one of the biggest killers of women, and people need to be pro-active, not re-active.”