Hundreds of Brooklynites donned blue-green-colored getups as they strutted through Prospect Park on Sept. 7 for the Teal Walk and Run fundraiser to support ovarian cancer research and survivors.
The 11th annual event is hosted by Teal, a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization aimed at raising awareness of and fighting the deadly disease.
More than 1,600 cancer-fighting do-gooders gathered near the Ninth Street entrance of Brooklyn’s Backyard for the start of the philanthropic 5k walk and run around the park’s interior — helping to raise nearly $140,000 at this year’s procession.
In addition to the money, the event helped spread a critical understanding of the disease, which often accompanies few visible symptoms and is often fatal if not caught early, said one ovarian cancer survivor.
“It’s really important to raise awareness and make sure people know as much as they can,” said Jennifer Garam, who got a clean bill of health from her doctor five months ago. “A lot of the symptoms aren’t noticeable, so it’s important to get that information out there.”
Garam walked at this year’s event for the first time along with her mother and a group of friends following an emotional tribute ceremony at the Prospect Park Bandshell, where around 60 survivors took turns sharing their stories and supporting their fellow cancer patients.
“It was so exciting and exhilarating to be on stage with all these survivors — there was so much hope,” she said. “It was amazing. It was beautiful. There was so much energy there, and people were so passionately supporting this cause.”
A record-setting 733 people ran the five-kilometer track at this year’s race, and over 830 walked the event, according to Teal’s programs manager.
“It was really an amazing day. We had a really great turnout of participants. We had the most runners we’ve ever had,” said Courtney Donahue-Taleporos. “The weather could not have been more perfect, it wasn’t too hot, but it was sunny — it was fantastic.”