Hundreds of people set off on a 60-mile journey Friday morning to raise money for breast cancer awareness, with TEAM NEC proudly taking their place at the lead.
Starting with an opening ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas, TEAM NEC, along with all Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk participants, began walking 60 miles through the rain and cold for three days to collect donations for ‘The Cure,’ and to honor breast cancer patients, victims, and survivors.
Last year, walkers raised about $14 million, and to date, the event has raised nearly $70 million for research since 2005.
“We’re going to raise over $2 million just this weekend, and we’re going to use those dollars to invest in life-saving research, direct patient support, and also policy and advocacy work to change laws to make access to care easier for all people,” explained Cati Diamond Stone, a 13-year breast cancer survivor with a background in law, the Susan G. Komen VP for Community Health, and the Dallas event organizer.
“We’re really changing lives every day,” she added.
“I just love how the community comes out together and holds hands and says, ‘We’re going to be doing something big together.’ You saw it this morning, and you’ll see it all around town over the next three days.”
“And the goal is 1, creating a sense of community and support, and 2, it’s really about raising dollars so we can ultimately get to the cures and help people who are facing breast cancer right now today.”
(We can often take the necessities of life for granted. That’s why Susan. G Komen’s Dallas “Race for the Cure” is so important. Because even those with full health insurance can still be drained financially and emotionally by breast cancer. Courtesy of FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth and YouTube.)
Despite being soaked by the time they reached the first pit stop TEAM NEC, led by Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, President of NEC National Security Systems (NSS), a FOCI-mitigated subsidiary of NEC Corporation of America (NECAM), was still full of energy and enthusiasm.
Dr. Kathleen Kiernan began walking with Komen in the Race for the Cure to support a friend. This weekend is her 20th 3-Day Walk to End Breast Cancer – and her THIRD 3-Day Walk of 2023 in nationwide events.
I spoke with Dr. Kiernan Saturday evening at her hotel after finishing the day’s course. With 20 miles and one day yet to go, the weather was calling for an 85 percent chance of rain for Sunday, but they were not deterred.
Although she said TEAM NEC was “thoroughly soaked and blistered,” she remained in high spirits, and I couldn’t help but catch some of her passion and enthusiasm coming through the airwaves along with her smiling voice.
“NEC provides world-class biometrics solutions to the U.S. government and the private sector and uses that same commitment to excellence to drive recognition and a cure for the disease of breast cancer,” said Dr. Kiernan.
“As an organization, we believe that investment in research and technology will, in fact, help find the cure.”
Positively immersed within the Pink Bubble community of breast cancer patients, victims, survivors, and supporters, they bubble over with encouragement, love, and kindness towards one another regardless of what the weather may throw at them.
“A little rain and cold is nothing compared to what women with breast cancer contend with to survive. We are in it to END it.”
Team NEC Puts a Face on the Cure
Dr. K proudly shared that TEAM NEC 2023 is the largest they’ve had to date, three times larger than last year.
“TEAM NEC is dedicated to investment in preventative healthcare, early diagnostics, and education about a disease that impacts 1 in 8 women globally.”
She also shared some of the responses she has received from walkers about why they are joining Team NEC for the 3-Day Walk.
“In our fast-paced world of business and technology, Team NEC has taken a unique step—one that extends far beyond their usual office routines,” said Dr. Kiernan.
“We’ve asked them a few questions to learn more about what inspires them on this journey this October in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
What inspired you to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk and join Team NEC?
“I am a survivor. My three sisters and I have all been affected by breast cancer. Two of my sisters have passed from the disease…. way before their time. One was the mother of a teenage daughter…the other was a dedicated volunteer who spent her weekends rescuing unwanted and discarded pets. These were women who made the world a better place and now are gone forever. We need a cure!”
– Sue Smythe, Senior Manager – HR
“I have been doing these walks now for two decades, decided after losing many friends to the disease and watching others survive with the funded research. I made a promise that I would continue walking until a cure was found for a disease that impacts 1 in 8 women globally or until I was unable to walk. I am still walking, and we are closer to the cure.”
– Kathleen Kiernan, President – NEC NSS
“My 94-year-old mother, Alma Ruth Byrd, is a breast cancer survivor. I am walking in her honor and to support all other women who have fought or are fighting this horrible disease.”
– Neal Byrd, VP Federal Sales – NEC NSS
“Support for cancer research is my inspiration. Cancer is a horrible disease, and finding a cure would change the world and how we might fight other diseases. Cancer affected my family and so many others that I know.“
– Makenzie Blythe, Senior Marketing Manager – ARS
“My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she was the first in my family to have this awful disease! She was in remission for 15 years and then passed of liver cancer. I hate cancer! “
– Lisa deLeon, Agency Support – ARS
“My mother inspired me to participate. My mother is a 13-year warrior and fought breast cancer with so much grit and courage. She continues to worry about her health, and my goal is to keep her safe and healthy while also providing her the support she needs.”
– Nanditha Rao, Director – Information Security
“My immediate thought was “To Be of Use.” I remember reading a poem by that title as a kid that has stuck with me. Opportunities to be of use without the motivation of self-interest are what knit together human society. I’m happy to be a participant in an event that is such a pure representation of that ideal.”
– Chris White, President – NEC Labs America
“So many friends and family have been impacted by Breast Cancer. This is a great way to increase visibility and fund more for the necessary research.”
– Ellen Ferguson, Operations – NEC Labs America
“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and has now been cancer-free for more than ten years. Watching her go through chemo and radiation was incredibly difficult, so this cause is very important to me. While I have participated in several Susan G. Komen 5k’s in the past, this will be my first 3-day!”
– Jorie Bagnato, Assistant General Counsel, NECAM
Thank you TEAM NEC, for being such an active inspiration of HOPE, an example of selfless service to Find the Cure for Breast Cancer, and truly putting ACTION into your efforts to ‘Walk Your Talk.’
AST is a proud TEAM NEC 2023 Sponsor, and I hope to participate in the 2024 3-Day Walk in Dallas myself.
Please consider making a greatly appreciated donation at www.the3day.org.