‘Divas’ Rev Up Breast Cancer Awareness

Sunday, April 05, 2009

From M.D. Andersen's PROMISE Newsletter

They call themselves “Divas For A Cure,” but their work is far from glamorous. Jan Emanuel-Costley, founder and president of the California-based nonprofit organization, and a band of biker buddies are helping fund breast cancer research at M. D. Anderson through cross-country motorcycle rides, with the support of corporate sponsor Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Last summer’s third annual Divas For A Cure Breast Cancer Motorcycle Run found Emanuel- Costley and 2008 DFAC core group riders enduring the elements on an 18-day, 6,014-mile journey. Emanuel-Costley and fellow divas Michelle Hampton, Elaine Thomas, Cynthia Marcy and Aj Coffee, DFAC vice president and ride coordinator, biked from Atlanta to
Canada to the East Coast and back, collectively raising $35,000 through registrations, sales of ‘Divas’ Rev Up Breast Cancer Awareness “Real Divas Ride” patches, sponsorships and donations.

Members of local chapters of the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers & Troopers Motorcycle Club escorted the women in and out of major stopping points,helping spread their awareness campaign to participants and supporters along the way. An Oct. 25 check presentation at the Harley-Davidson of Ocean County dealership in Lakewood, N.J., celebrated the successful ride. Since 2006, Divas For A Cure has raised $110,000 for research at M. D. Anderson. Emanuel-Costley, a breast cancer survivor, says the organization also is dedicated to promoting early detection through education and screenings.

“The 2009 ride will be another test of endurance, but it also will be a journey from the heart,” she says. Learn more at www.divasforacure.org.

— Sarah Watson
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