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Susan G. Komen Arkansas Southwest Region recently awarded grants from funds raised at Race for the Cure in 2018.

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System received $75,000; Wadley Regional Medical Center received $40,000; Genesis PrimeCare received $2,500; Little River Memorial Hospital received $2,500; and $60,000 was given to national breast cancer research.

The local funds are used to make breast health services more accessible.

"With these funds, we hope to be able to give access to as many women as possible who are needing breast screening, diagnostic services or a breast exam," said Amber Lawrence, Komen Arkansas southwest region director.

The funds are making a difference in the lives of local women.

"There are several women I know personally who've been able to come back and tell us their stories about how our funds helped them," Lawrence said. "Both of them were diagnosed with breast cancer and if not for the funding, they would not have been diagnosed. One young lady was in her 20s and she knew something was wrong. Her instinct told her something wasn't right. Her doctor refused to send her for a mammogram because of her age. She finally came to us, used our program and received her mammogram. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's doing great now but those funds saved her life."

Twenty-five percent of the money raised at last year's Race for the Cure is used to fund research.

"That research is saving lives and helping us get closer to finding a cure, not just for breast cancer but all cancers," she said.

This year's Race for the Cure will take place Oct. 19 at the beginning of Front Street Plaza in Downtown Texarkana.

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