RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- The Komen Richmond Race for the Cure is fast approaching. Teams are forming now, and the hunt for donations is underway.
Long after the runners in the race for the cure cross the finish line, the money they've raised keeps going. Most of it doesn't travel very far -- it stays close to Richmond, in places like the Fan Free Clinic.
"We can't do this project without them," said Cathy Wheeler, who runs the Pink Ticket Project, which is funded by a grant from Komen Richmond. Its goal is to bring underprivileged and uninsured women to the clinic for free breast health screenings and education. The first step is getting them in the door.
"We talked about what were some of the barriers -- one was transportation," she said.
Wheeler and her staff solved that problem by offering to pay patients' bus fare, a small but important gesture. Once they arrive, they're given a breast exam, advice, or a referral to get a mammogram.
"Preventive health in terms of breast health is something that's neglected even by people who have the resources," Wheeler said. "It just does not stay in the forefront of women's minds- and it needs to."
Cathy is grateful for every dollar raised that helps keep this mission alive.
"It is those small donations that over time enable a program like the Pink Ticket program to even exist in Richmond," she said.
Signing up for the race for the cure is a first step you can take to make a contribution. Go to www.komenrichmond.org to get started -- your donations can go a long way without ever leaving Central Virginia.
Richmond's Susan G Komen Race for the Cure is Saturday, May 8. To find out more about the race -- where it is, how to participate, how to donate to the cause – see NBC12's Komen Race for the Cure webpage.