Local breast cancer survivor, Natalie Rager, founded the Hot Pink Mommas in 2009, and since then, the group has raised $78,967 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“Being a breast cancer survivor means I get to be here each day with my family and friends, and that your health is priceless. My motivation to fight comes from wanting to be as healthy as I can be and to help find a cure for breast cancer,” Rager said in an email.
In October of 2008, at the age of 38, Rager was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer after finding a lump herself.
“I did six months of chemotherapy and 40 rounds of radiation, followed by a bilateral mastectomy,” she said.
Rager finished radiation in May of 2009 and completed her first walk in June of 2009 in Chicago, Ill.
“The Chicago walk was life changing for me. Training for the walk helped me stay active and bonded me with amazing teammates. After going through this, I couldn’t have asked for better support,” she said.
The Susan G. Komen 3 Day Race for The Cure is a 60 mile walk in which each participant has to raise $2,300 to go towards breast cancer research. 85 percent of the net proceeds from the event benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization that has played a part in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer, from research to education to advocacy for 30 years.
For three days, participants walk beside fellow survivors, husbands that have lost their wives, and other people who have lost loved ones to breast cancer.
“It doesn’t even feel like you are walking 20 miles because the atmosphere is so uplifting that all you can think about is crossing that finish line in honor or memory of your loved ones. Everyone that walks has a story of why they are walking,” Rager said. This will be the first year that Shea Rager, one of Natalie’s daughters will be walking with her.
There are 14 walks in 14 difference cities in the U.S., and it is Rager’s goal to walk all 14.
“The upcoming walk in San Francisco June 21 – 23 will be my fifth walk. In order to prepare for the walk, we have training fundraisers to reach our team goal’s donation each year,” she said.
In the past, the Hot Pink Mommas, which consists of Rager’s close friends and family, have had car washes at Shepherd’s Chevrolet in North Manchester, a golf outing at Sycamore Golf Course, a Pink Out basketball game at Peru High School, and as a team waitressed at the Main View in North Manchester, held a tennis tournament at Thrush Courts in Peru, a Thirty-One party and various bake sales.
The Hot Pink Mommas do not use any of their donation money for travel expenses. All donations go directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“Through all of this, Brandt’s Harley-Davidson has been our biggest supporter,” Rager said.
Brandt’s has donated over $14,000 to the Hot Pink Mommas in the past two years.
“If you would like to purchase a t-shirt in support of us, they will be available at Brandt’s for $15, or if you would like to make a donation on our behalf, you can go online at susangkomen.org and search for the Hot Pink Mommas,” Rager said.