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Bee Brave 5K to Support Local Breast Cancer Research

VAI Purple Community

Be Brave.  That is what countless women must do when faced with the news of breast cancer.  This weekend, the BEE BRAVE 5K, allows runners to come together to support “local” breast cancer research at the Van Andel Institute.  It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Where we gain that hope is that people who were our featured fighters 8-9 years ago, have beaten the disease because of research that has been done, since we started.”

And they started 10 years ago.  BEE BRAVE founder Pat Ringnalda says the research they support with their annual 5k run has been a game-changer.

“So, maybe there was not a certain treatment or certain drug available when they were diagnosed it was available, but because of the a mazing research it now is. . So now they’re a survivor, instead of a fighter. And that’s the hope that we have some of these dollars are going to help up find that cure.”

Pat says the BEE Brave run is spelled, b-e-e and comes from her work with Mary Kay Cosmetics which she says has long used the bee as a symbol for strength.

“The body of the bumblebee is so heavy that the frail little wings shouldn’t be able to support and certainly shouldn’t be able to fly, but nobody told the bumblebee that and it flies anyway. So with that in mind with the breast cancer, I just thought, well, Bee Brave; obviously women who are fighting and battling this disease are fighting and have to be brave.”

Pat says the 5 K is  in partnership with the Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community.  Just prior to the run, tribute is paid to all who are or have struggled with a breast cancer journey.

Pat adds the 5K is totally volunteer run; no one takes a salary and generous sponsors help make it happen.  All the proceeds go to research at the VAI, right here in Grand Rapids.

Saturday’s run takes place at Shagbark Farms in Caledonia and starts at 9 am. 

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.