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Beyond the Pink Ribbon | Local nonprofit funds metastatic breast cancer research

Twisted Pink has raised more than $1.2 million to fund metastatic breast cancer research since 2014.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose is to bring awareness to the impact breast cancer has on the lives of those living with the disease, survivors, and the people who love them, as well as raise money for the cause.

The symbol of a pink ribbon has become synonymous with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you might see it on products that fund breast cancer research. But according to Twisted Pink founder Caroline Johnson, only 10% of that money goes to funding research into metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer is stage 4 cancer that has spread past the breast to other organs.

Johnson is a survivor herself and was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer before she turned 40.

She started doing research after getting her diagnosis and wanted to raise money specifically for research into metastatic breast cancer.

She started Twisted Pink in 2014. Since then, the organization has raised more than $1.2 million, and has funded research at the Brown Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins, as well as some other institutions.

Twenty to 30 percent of patients will be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and the median survival rate is just two to three years.

“A lot of times metastatic breast cancer patients are living drug to drug, treatment to treatment,” Johnson said. “So what we’re trying to do is fund research to develop more therapeutics that will help people live longer with less side effects.”

This month, Twisted Pink and other local organizations are hosting events that to support the cause.

Twisted Pink is partnering with Hope Scarves and Captain’s Quarters once again for the Chunkin Pumpkins event on October 24. 

Guests can purchase a pumpkin, decorate it, and then launch it into the Ohio River, as well as some other family friendly activities.

Another event is Think Pink with the Giants on October 21 at Bernheim Forest. It’s a two mile walk through the forest in recognition of breast cancer awareness month and survivors.

Or you can attend the Sista Strut on October 16 at Louisville Slugger field. It is a 3k walk or run to increase awareness about provide information on resources in our area. A portion of the proceeds benefit Kentucky African Americans Against Cancer.

One thing Johnson stressed was if you are donating to a breast cancer organization – check to see where your money is going and choose and organization that is doing something to fund research.

For more information on Twisted Pink, click here.

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Contact reporter Rose McBride at rmcbride@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter. 

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