Cancer survivor duo 'Besties for Breasties' share story behind top fundraising race team

New Week, New You: Running/walking for a cause

SAN ANTONIO - One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the Susan G. Komen foundation, an organization known worldwide for raising research and resource money. 

One of their largest fundraising events is the Race for the Cure. 

Locally, throughout the year "Besties for Breasties" is holding fundraisers like painting classes, dances, silent auctions and more to raise money for the race. 

Last year, the team of over 100 people was the top fundraising team, bringing in more than $18,600. This year they are well on their way to surpassing their $20,000 goal. 

The team has grown tremendously since it first started under a different name, Pink Power Team. 
Missy Ralel founded the team in 2008 after being diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Every year there was one area that doctors kept an eye on in her mammograms, and in April 2008 the concern turned into reality, which turned into hope for herself and others. 

"At that time I knew it was my passion," Ralel said the cancer was caught early and was treated with about six weeks of radiation, what's known as "the chemo pill" and two surgeries. 

"After going through that I started learning more about other women's diagnosis and I decided I wanted to be an advocate and also help them along their journeys."

When starting her team, Ralel had no idea it would be as large and successful as it is now, but unfortunately it grew as her cancer community did. Many of her friends were diagnosed in the years following, including her best friend Pat Shreder. 

Shreder says she was a stranger to any kind of cancer. She didn't know anyone who had been diagnosed, was healthy and active and never imagined she would get sick herself. 

In 2011, she got the call that she had breast cancer after a annual mammogram she considered skipping. Thankfully, she already had a support system to turn to.

"Nobody wants to be diagnosed with cancer but I'm glad we have each other and our other friends that are survivors too. I think you are closer because of that. They know what you went through," Shreder expressed as she was on the verge of tears.

With breast cancer now effecting Ralel's closest friendships, she decided to change the name to what it is today, Besties for Breasties. 

Ralel and Shreder have been side by side ever since in their journey to both fighting the disease and building a lasting presence in the San Antonio community over the past 11 years. 

Their team on race day is made up of people battling cancer, survivors and supporters like family and friends. 

To be part of their team message them on Facebook. 

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