Susan G. Komen Florida announced their 2020 Warriors in Pink on October 15, 2019 at the organization’s “Pink Flamingo Party” at the Palm Beach Zoo. The festive atmosphere reflected the spirit of the nine chosen survivors and their passion for defeating breast cancer as ambassadors for Komen and the 2020 South Florida Race for the Cure on January 25, 2020 in Downtown West Palm Beach.
The 2020 Warriors in Pink demonstrate the disease can strike anyone, regardless of family history, age, ethnicity, race or gender. They will carry their message of breast cancer awareness to their own communities and take action collectively to create a groundswell of support in South Florida to help Komen reach its Bold Goal to reduce U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50% by 2026.
The 2020 Komen Florida Warriors in Pink are:
Kay Alvarez, age 43, West Palm Beach
Kay is a one-year survivor. Despite undergoing seven surgeries, Kay remained filled with determination, perseverance and persistence due to her family. Kay is determined to do her absolute best to raise awareness about early detection because that is what saved her.
Kim Brisky, age 57, Hobe Sound
Kim is a one-year+ survivor. She was diagnosed on April Fool’s Day 2018. The timing may have foreshadowed one of the important things Kim leaned on to get her through her journey: a sense of humor. She hopes to pay forward the love and support she has been given by her family and co-workers by helping other patients through their journeys.
Betsy Burden, age 59, Palm Beach Gardens
Betsy is a 13-year survivor. As one of the founding members of the Christ Fellowship Cancer Support Group, Betsy comforts other cancer patients, and as the president of the Lighthouse Dragons Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team, she offers survivors and their supporters the many benefits of healthy exercise and sisterhood camaraderie.
Tanya Burke, age 52, West Palm Beach
Tanya is a two-year survivor. She found her breast cancer early thanks to a self-exam that detected a lump that was later diagnosed as Stage 1A triple negative breast cancer. As a single African American woman, she wants to set an example of looking within for inspiration and helping more women of color become visible in the fight.
Denise Kaslow, age 57, Palm Beach Gardens
Denise is a 20-year survivor. She has been involved with the Race for Cure for the past 21 years, serving as a Race team captain and repeatedly recognized as a top ten individual fundraiser. She has also participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk four times in cities across the U.S. She hopes that her support of Komen will be an inspiration to others so that one day there will be a world without breast cancer.
James Keegan, age 71, Palm City
James is a six-year breast cancer survivor. His mission is to raise awareness that men can also get breast cancer, encourage them to examine themselves and ask their physicians to examine their breasts during their annual physicals, and take action at the first sign of an issue.
Heidi Kirk Garcia, age 50, Jupiter
Heidi is a four-year survivor. She believes that early detection saved her life and stresses the importance of annual mammograms. Heidi shares that breast cancer is a “family” diagnosis, crediting her loved ones for getting her through treatment, and also recognizes her fellow employees at NextEra Energy/FPL who share their breast cancer experiences and support each other daily.
Sabine Millien-Felix, age 58, West Palm Beach
Sabine is a survivor of less than one year. She has vowed to assist other women going through breast cancer personally by reaching out to those paralyzed with fear who don’t know what to do—especially those in her Haitian community—as well as professionally by lending her guidance for working with insurance companies to get much needed treatments.
Brie Pestano, age 34, Boynton Beach
Brie is a two-year breast cancer survivor. She wants to help other young breast cancer patients stay strong mentally as much as possible, believing a positive attitude is essential to overcoming the battle. Brie is also determined to find a way to help create a network where women can share information that may help physicians and scientists determine the cause for the disease.
The 2020 Warriors in Pink will share their experiences with the community throughout the year and have a special role at the Komen South Florida Race for the Cure on January 25th in Downtown West Palm Beach. They will lead hundreds of survivors to the Meyer Amphitheatre stage during the Survivor Recognition Ceremony, where all will be recognized for their fight against breast cancer. Following the ceremony, the Warriors will lead all survivors on the 5K walk along Flagler Drive. They will follow a Ford pace car, the national supporter of the Warriors in Pink program devoted to recognizing women who live by the credo of taking charge, living out loud, harnessing power and standing together.
“Our Warriors are an inspiration to all that we will not let breast cancer defeat us,” said Kate Watt, executive director of Komen Florida. “They are helping us take the fight to every corner of our community to drive awareness and save lives because they know if it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.”
To learn more about the Race for the Cure and Warriors in Pink, visit https://komenflorida.org/2020-warriors-in-pink/.
About Susan G. Komen® and Komen Florida:
Komen Florida is helping fuel research, advocate for patients and support people facing breast cancer locally through a variety of direct patient-centered services and by collaborating with area providers to remove barriers and connect people to needed care across the state of Florida. For more information, call (561) 514-3020 or visit www.komenflorida.org.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and in countries worldwide. We advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information. Born out of a promise between two sisters, Susan G. Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly searching for tomorrow’s cures.