First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady, Lt. Gov. Abramson attend Fifth-Annual ‘Horses and Hope Race Day’ at Churchill Downs
Project Runway star Gunnar Deatherage, Rep. Joni Jenkins join survivors to show support for breast cancer awareness
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear joined Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson and Madeline Abramson today to celebrate Churchill Downs’ fifth-annual “Horses and Hope Breast Cancer Race Day”. Founded by Mrs. Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program in 2008, the Horses and Hope program continues its efforts to raise breast cancer awareness and honor breast cancer survivors in Kentucky.
“Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Kentucky women,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Early detection is still the key to fighting this disease and race days, such as today’s event, are an exceptional way to inform Kentuckians about the risks of breast cancer and encourage women to get screened. Thank you to Churchill Downs for its partnership with Horses and Hope as we continue to support survivors and increase awareness across the Commonwealth.”
Louisville native Gunnar Deatherage, of Project Runway fame, was a featured guest at today’s Horses and Hope event. He shared his experiences about participating in the hit television reality competition and being a part of New York Fashion Week. He also spoke about his support for breast cancer survivors and promoting awareness. For today’s event, Gunnar created an ensemble for Jessica Rizzo, the 2012 Survivor Ambassador for the Brown Cancer, which she modeled for the Horses and Hope program attendees.
Rep. Joni Jenkins, of Shively, was also on hand to discuss the Breast Cancer Research and Education Trust Fund and the importance of getting screened. Rep. Jenkins sponsored legislation to create the trust fund, which supports breast cancer research, education, treatment, screening and awareness efforts. Kentucky taxpayers can donate to the fund by simply checking off a box on their state income tax returns.
Participants at today’s event enjoyed a Sunday brunch, handicapping tips and a Horses and Hope race named in honor of breast cancer survivors. Mrs. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Abramson, Madeline Abramson and other special guests posed for a photo with survivors in the winner’s circle following the race.
The Horses and Hope organization works with the state’s equine industry to provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment referral. They also host special events in collaboration with equestrian organizations to honor breast cancer survivors and to share information.
Since 2008, Horses and Hope has hosted breast cancer race days at all four major racetracks across the state and has educated more than 500,000 race track and horse show fans and approximately 6,000 equine employees. The program has screened more than 500 workers and detected breast cancer in two individuals, both of whom have received treatment.
For more information about Horses and Hope, visit http://www.horsesandhope.org.