It looks like 22,000 participants are expected to turn out this Saturday in Downtown Las Vegas, for the annual Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure.
And among them will be some of the youngest breast cancer survivors in Southern Nevada. Eye on Health spoke with one of them about her unexpected journey.
Henderson resident, Brandi Merryman is a young mother of two. And also, at age 31, a breast cancer survivor. It was August of last year, while she was breast feeding -- that she noticed a lump. Soon afterwards, to her complete dismay, she was undergoing surgery.
"In denial, I guess. I didn't think it was real -- like just a big dream. When they told me, I was, I can't think anymore," she said.
Merryman joined a young support group at the Breast Care Center at Sunrise, where nine other women between ages 25 and 40 share in this uncommon experience.
According to the American Cancer Society, the median age for breast cancer is 61 -- with only 2-percent being diagnosed between ages 20 and 34.
The impact can be devastating. Merryman, however, says she's developed a much greater sense of awareness for what's really important in life. And that each moment spent with her children is more precious than ever before.
"It has changed my life tremendously -- all aspects -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has really, really changed my life for the better," said Merryman.
Merryman will be at this weekend's Race For The Cure -- along with others from the young survivors support group.
It's her way of doing what she can to help ensure that future generations are free of breast cancer.
"That's why it's important that people go out and support the races, support these organizations. Because we don't want it to happen to our kids. We want to make sure it's gone by then," she said.
The 13th Annual Susan G Komen Race For The Cure will be this Saturday. The 5K run starts at 8:15 a.m., and the 5K walk and 1-mile race start later.
We will also be carrying the event live, beginning at 8 a.m. on our sister station, Las Vegas One. Our coverage begins from Downtown Las Vegas at 8 a.m. Saturday.
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