SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Drive Thru Breast Cancer Fundraiser to benefit the Baystate Health Network’s Rays of Hope will take place on Saturday.

Representative Bud L. Williams of the 11th Hampden District, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion, and Dr. Doris Harris, Ph.D., Host of Health Matters, Community Consultant for the Public Health Institute of Western, MA, and Co-Chair of the Black Springfield Covid-19 Coalition will be hosting this free and open to the public Drive Thru Breast Cancer Fundraiser, according to a news release from the Office of State Representative Bud L. Williams.

The event begins at 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Panache Banquet Hall Parking Lot in Springfield. This event is because of the Black Springfield and Wellness Coalition, Urban League of Springfield, Inc., Coalition of Black Educators, and the Brethren Foundation.

The Rays of Hope Foundation has been helping people in the fight against breast cancer by walking with them on their journey, and they care for the whole person, from diagnosis and beyond, by supporting research at the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, which provides funding for state-of-the-art equipment, breast cancer programs, and outreach and education through Baystate Health.

Rays of Hope also provides grants for complementary therapies and cancer programs to community partners throughout western Massachusetts. They have raised over $16.1 million to date, and all of the funds raised remain locally in western Massachusetts.

“Many of us have family members, friends, co-workers, and colleagues that have experienced, are going through, or have survived Breast Cancer,” states Bud Williams. “Nationally, white women are slightly more likely to get diagnosed with breast cancer, however, the mortality rate is roughly 40 percent higher in African American women. This survival gap is due to biological markers like genomics and tumor biologics, as well as the patients’ socioeconomic status which can result in inequity in care and in survival. Regardless, early detection, access to high-quality cancer care, and innovative clinical trials are important factors that determine survival.”  

“Interventions that address all stakeholders are needed to close the racial survival disparity in breast cancer. For this reason, Dr. Harris and I have partnered to support the work of Rays of Hope, a local organization that has been providing quality and compassionate patient care, services, and research throughout Western Massachusetts,” states Williams. “I encourage everyone to join us.  Your participation and financial contribution, no matter how big or small, will help further the necessary work that our friends at the Bay State Health Network are doing to ensure members of our community receive the necessary support and treatment needed to survive this disease.” 

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