20 Faces of Komen Columbus: Week Five

Since this May 19, 2012 will be the 20th Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, for the next 20 weeks we’re going to spotlight 20 individuals who have participated in the Race throughout the years. They come from all walks of life and may be survivors, volunteers, grantees, sponsors or advocates, but they’re all committed to the fight against breast cancer.

Week Five: The One Who Is a Male Survivor

When Ron Coleman saw his first Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, he just happened to be in downtown Columbus for his daughter’s wedding in 2009. In 2010, he brought a team of 20 that raised $2,500. This year, Ron will attend the Race not only as a team captain, male breast cancer survivor and top fundraiser, but as the 20th Annual Komen Columbus Honorary Race for the Cure Chair.

Ron at the 2010 Race.

Ron was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. After Ron’s diagnosis, he was surprised to find very little information and resources available for men fighting breast cancer. Ron wanted to be proactive and share his story about breast cancer with as many people as possible.

“I felt alone and my family and I chose to be proactive and make others aware of my condition because I knew that there had to be others, but maybe they just hadn’t gone public with it,” Ron said. “Well, long story short, I’ve gone public and beyond, and the support and information has been enlightening and positive.  I’m very proud to say that I am a five-year survivor and as the saying goes, ‘we’ve come a long way baby.’”

In 2011, Ron’s “Coleman for the Cure’ team was 69 members-strong and raised nearly $10,000.

As honorary chair, Ron will participate in various media activities, attend Race events and help with Race activities when available.

Ron with Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder Nancy G. Brinker.

“I’m looking forward to not only forming a team and raising money this year, but motivating other men, women and children to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of breast cancer,” Ron said. “Cancer isn’t a death sentence anymore and the more knowledge we can raise about this, the better.”

Ron’s favorite part about Race day has been seeing so many different types of people on the course, all coming together for a common reason. Along with Ron and his team will likely be his son, Kurt Coleman, former Buckeye’s Football Player and current Strong Safety for the Philadelpia Eagles.

In October of 2011, Kurt, along with his teammates, presented a game ball to Ron on behalf of all breast cancer survivors in the community.

“I’m here to create a better awareness, understanding and acceptance of breast cancer. No one should be alone in this fight,” Ron said. “I’ve received an incredible amount of support from my own community and from across the country.”

This year, look for Ron on the Race course along with his team of 150 members hoping to fundraise $15,000. We’re proud and honored to have him as our Honorary Race Chair.

Registration is available here.