SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Sharon Hunt has been a runner for years, but the race she's preparing for this weekend is especially important.
"Every step will be for her," Hunt said.
Hunt plans to run in the in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The purpose of the event is to raise money for breast cancer research, education and screenings.
"My very good friend Kay was diagnosed with breast cancer. It just made it that more important to be able to run and support her," Hunt said.
"I had my annual mammogram in December and wasn't expecting it to be abnormal, but it was," Kay Santema said.
Doctors diagnosed Santema with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She's underwent surgery, six rounds of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments.
"It's a lot different when cancer attacks your best friend," Hunt said.
"The physical changes it does for your body are difficult. You begin with surgery. Then the changes with chemotherapy, like loss of hair, etc.," Santema said.
Santema says she now feels great. She's only on a drug-targeted therapy, but if she would have waited another six months to get a mammogram, her prognosis would have been a lot different.
"I was very diligent in getting my annual mammograms. One thing I would encourage everyone to be sure to get are your mammograms regularly because I was unsuspecting," Santema said.
Some of the money raised from the Race for the Cure goes to mammograms for women who can't afford them. The race also provides a chance for women to support each other through a difficult disease.
"Kay always has a smile on her face. Even when she was going through a very hard time, she was very positive and outgoing," Hunt said.
"It's just so heart-warming. It's just so great," Santema said.
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