Cancer-free for 25 years: Survivor shares story of participating in first Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure

Avid runner Vivian Murray joins race just weeks after surgery

The 25th annual Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure takes place on Sunday, October 13, 2019, at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu! The Race for the Cure began in Honolulu in 1995 with just 800 participants, led by a single person who wanted to honor a family member who had breast cancer. Twenty-five years later, the Race for the Cure continues to be one of the most recognized races in Hawaii and across the globe.

Vivian Murray is an avid runner who was diagnosed with breast cancer 25 years ago. Today, she is cancer-free. Murray says after she and her husband discovered a lump, she had a double mastectomy.

“Two weeks after my surgery, I wrapped my chest for extra support, and I participated in the first-ever Race for the Cure,” Murray says. “It was important to me to keep running, to do what I love. It helped me to heal and to still be who I am.”

Murray says she didn’t know if she was going to survive cancer, but meeting other breast cancer survivors gave her hope.

“This one woman even opened her shirt to show me her chest and the kind of healing I could expect,” Murray says. “I knew since then that the Race for the Cure was more than just a race, it was about people being there for one another.”

Murray at one point was also a race chair. She says Komen Hawaii has strict rules as to where the money goes.

“They pinch pennies so that more breast cancer patients can benefit from funds that are raised. Even after I stepped down as race chair, I still sign up to do the 5K each year because I know where the money goes, and I want to support others who are facing the disease,” she says.

There are several ways to get involved and help the cause. You can register for the race on October 13 at Kapiolani Park, donate to Komen Hawaii or volunteer.

For more information: komenhawaii.org, or on Facebook and Instagram: @komenhawaii