Thousands expected at Komen Dallas race this weekend

In less than 24 hours thousands of people will converge on NorthPark Center to raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer. The 33rd annual Komen Dallas Race for the Cure starts Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

People like Marily and Steve Blethen will join the race with the hope of educating people about breast cancer. Both are survivors.

In 2008, Steve went to the doctor because of a pain in his chest. It turned out he had breast cancer, something a lot of men think only women can be diagnosed with. And a few years later his wife received the same diagnosis.

“After 45 years we’ve grown together in a lot of areas, but this wasn’t one that I intended to share,” Marilyn said.

The couple has made it their mission to educate people on the importance of early detection. Komen Dallas has recognized them as “Everyday Heroes” because of their work.

Deandrea Fleming will also be there. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the early age of 34. She’s now a strong supporter of mammograms even for younger women.

“If they feel the lump, if they find the lump, if they even think it’s a lump, I think they should go to the doctor immediately and seek help. Early detection is the only way. I wouldn’t be here today if I did not find my lump early,” she said.

Stephanie Bowman, the Susan G. Komen Dallas County board president, said 25 percent of the funds raised during Saturday’s race will go toward breast cancer research. The other 75 percent will be used for outreach programs in Dallas County.

“We have a lot going on tomorrow. All of our survivors will be here, well over a thousand volunteers and then all of our participants in the race. We’re expecting a lot. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” she said. “If you’ve never come to the race, I encourage you to come. It is phenomenal.”

FOX 4 is a proud sponsor of the event and will have special coverage on Good Day Saturday and