Leaders of Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City introduced Sang Thi Duong and Paula Hoffman as Race Chairpersons for the 25th Annual Race for the Cure being held on Saturday, October 6 at Black & Veatch in Overland Park, KS. This is the second year the event is being held at this location.
The Komen Kansas City Race is typically the largest fundraiser of the year for the affiliate. The event gathers nearly 10,000 participants and is one of the largest nonprofit 5K Races in the city. A majority of funds raised to support the more than $21 million community program and research investment have been generated from the Race.
Sang Thi Duong
Sang has volunteered with Komen Kansas City since 2006 jumping right in and co-chairing a committee with less than 20 days until Race day. From there, she learned the ropes of the Race and stepped into the role of the Race Chair in 2010 which was the biggest race known to Kansas City. Since 2010, she has served behind the scenes leading the social media command center at the Race, as a Komen Ambassador every year and, for the last three years she volunteered in the Survivor Pavilion greeting survivors and their families.
Sang began volunteering as a way to give back and that quickly changed as she witnessed how early detection and education were vital to being a world without breast cancer. In 2014, it became a personal mission when her (then) 14-year-old daughter came to her with a lump in her breast. If it weren’t for teaching her self-breast exams and being educated, she may have never thought twice about it. For her daughter, it was a benign mass and they worked together to educate young women about breast health.
Sang believes breast health education begins early and is willing to have the conversations necessary to bring awareness because the mission to end breast cancer goes beyond the pink ribbon, beyond the pink cookies and far beyond the Race.
Twenty-six years ago Paula heard the words “Breast Cancer” for the first time. Those words were spoken by her mom, it was also the moment Paula found out her dad’s mother had passed away from breast cancer 16 years prior. In 2006, her mom was battling cancer for the third time and she knew she needed to do more than just wear pink. She started volunteering with Komen Kansas City as an ambassador and as a Race committee chair member. She has spoken at events, been a part of the race, and she and her husband host the photo booth/event photos for many events. She even became a mammography technologist to be closer to helping patients through the process of screening.
Paula works as the Director of Population Health and Diagnostic Services for Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, a Komen Kansas City grantee. Through her experiences, she knows firsthand what it means for people to be scared and unable to afford to receive breast cancer screening services. When her mom first found her lump she did not have $100 to receive the follow-up services needed to for a proper diagnosis. And it’s now her mission to prevent $100 from standing in the way of finding cancer early through educating others about breast cancer detection and empowering patients to be their own advocate.
Paula’s mom, Patty, went on to fight breast cancer a total of five times over 18 years and her fight involved being a research patient for many cancer-fighting drugs available today. Patty passed away in 2010 and her legacy continues through Paula. When Paula’s aunt was diagnosed with breast and lung cancer in 2016 and then her sister with breast cancer in 2017, Paula’s mission to educate on early detection multiplied. Both women have been able to use the drugs discovered through research during Patty’s fight to fight their own battle.
Paula believes that research and early detection save lives and everything she does is more than the pink ribbon.
Sang and Paula can be reached via email at email@example.com.