Inspirational Survivor Marilou Smith is 2016 Race for the Cure Honoree

Inspirational Survivor Marilou Smith is 2016 Race for the Cure Honoree

BUFFALO, NY (April 27, 2016) — Susan G. Komen Western New York Race for the Cure® is pleased to announce that breast cancer Survivor Marilou Smith of Tonawanda is this year’s WNY Race for the Cure Honoree.

Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 at age 45 and has been an active fundraiser and volunteer with Komen WNY for several years, including three years as co-chair of the annual Survivor Luncheon.

“I was given a tremendous gift – the name, “Survivor,” Smith said. “What I find most rewarding is sharing my story and helping others. If I can raise money for awareness and prevention, co-chair a luncheon for 600 Survivors and co-Survivors, walk in the Race for the Cure, or just mingle at Komen events, I know that I have touched someone’s life.”

As 2016 Race for the Cure Honoree, Smith will lead the Survivor procession and other Survivor activities at the Race, to be held on Saturday, June 11, at Buffalo RiverWorks.  Hundreds of Survivors attend the pre-race activities beginning at 7:30 a.m., which include a free breakfast courtesy of Wegmans, many giveaways, vendor booths, health screenings, and more.  The 5K race, for an expected 4,000 participants, begins at 10 a.m.

“The strength and inspiration that I feel when I am with survivors and those that volunteer make me feel incredibly grateful,” Smith said. “Komen offers many different volunteer opportunities so there is surely something out there for all of us.  I give my time because I want to bring joy, hope and knowledge to others.”

Komen WNY Executive Director Liz Kahn praised Smith’s passionate support of Komen and the breast cancer cause.  “Marilou is a tireless supporter, who approaches everything she does with equal parts grace and smarts. She is talented at bringing people together, mobilizing them to get things done, and following through in an effort to really make a difference,” Kahn said. “It’s people like Marilou who keep grass-roots organizations like Komen running smoothly, and we are very grateful for her leadership.”

Smith has spent over 25 years working in the mortgage banking industry and is currently Vice President Business and Planning Manager at M&T Bank. She lives in Tonawanda with her husband Kevin and daughters Taylor and Caroline.

Since 2001, Susan G. Komen Western New York® has donated more than $4.6 million to local breast health and breast cancer programs, with the majority of those dollars coming through the Race for the Cure. This will be the 16th Anniversary of the Race in Buffalo and the first time at Buffalo RiverWorks.

Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds goes toward funding grants to local life-saving  programs that  provide breast health education and breast cancer screening, treatment and support programs- all aimed at under-served individuals in the eight counties of Western New York.   The remaining 25 percent of money raised supports the Komen National Research Grants Program.

For more information or to contact Marilou Smith, please call the Komen office at 716-887-2643 or email Liz Kahn at lizkahn@komenwny.org