Personality: Susan G. Quisenberry

Spotlight on Central VA affiliate leader of Race for the Cure

5/6/2016, 5:59 p.m.
Susan G. Quisenberry volunteered to help with Richmond’s very first Race for the Cure in 1998 after both of her ...

Susan G. Quisenberry volunteered to help with Richmond’s very first Race for the Cure in 1998 after both of her parents succumbed to cancer during a nine-month span.

“A friend asked me to volunteer and I have been involved ever since,” she says.

Ms. Quisenberry will be pitching in again Saturday morning, May 7 — along with about 350 other volunteers on Brown’s Island in Downtown — when more than 4,5000 people are expected to gather for the 19th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.

The usual 5K recreational run-walk will start at 9 a.m. New to the event is a 5K competitive run-walk that will start at 7:30 a.m. For more information, call (804) 320-1772 or go to www.komencentralva.org.

Ms. Quisenberry’s depth of involvement as a volunteer with the organization has grown through the years. She now serves as board president for the Central Virginia affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

She was elected to serve a two-year term in April 2015.

She says the community-unifying Race for the Cure is important because “it helps to increase awareness and raises funds to support breast cancer education, screening and treatment within Central Virginia.”

Ms. Quisenberry says this year’s goal is to raise $400,000 at the event.

“Anyone is invited who wants to support our mission, run or walk a beautiful 5K course that twice crosses the James River,” Ms. Quisenberry notes, “as well as celebrate the women and men who are breast cancer survivors and remember those who have lost their lives to breast cancer.”

While she encourages participation, she has never actually walked or run in the event.

“I’m always too busy with my volunteer responsibilities,” she acknowledges.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with others who are currently going or have gone through the same thing and to feel the support of all who have come out to participate in the event,” she says.

This week’s Personality, Susan G. Quisenberry, is a vital volunteer for Race for the Cure:

Place of birth: Richmond.

Current residence: Richmond.

Family: Husband, Bob Quisenberry.

Occupation: IT consultant.

Alma mater: Bachelor’s degree, University of Richmond.

What makes the Race for the Cure so important and how would you describe the atmosphere as the event unfolds:

The race is our largest fundraiser of the year. The atmosphere is one of celebration and remembrance. It’s a fun event for those who want to do a timed run, as well as for those who want to run or walk in support of the cause. The breast cancer survivor walk before the start of the recreational 5K is a very moving event and the post-race fun on Brown’s Island has something for all ages.

How much has been raised since the Central Virginia Race for the Cure started in 1998: We have provided more than $5.8 million to local community programs that provide education, screening and treatment for those in need and $1.9 million to the Susan G. Komen Research Grants Program.

Other community volunteer position: Member of the board of trustees of the University of Richmond.

How I will feel the morning of the race: Proud of all the hard work by the affiliate staff and our wonderful volunteers. And a little sleepy.

After: Time to relax!

Who and what sparked the founding of the Race for the Cure: Jennifer Norvell Saunders began the first Race for the Cure in Richmond. It was held in 1998 to honor Jennifer’s mother, Joanne B. Norvell, and other Virginians who had lost their lives to breast cancer and to celebrate those who are survivors.

Who is Susan G. Komen: In 1982, Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

How affiliates act to fulfill mission: 75 percent of the funds raised through the Race for the Cure and other fundraising efforts go toward education, treatment and screening in Central Virginia and the remaining 25 percent helps fund breast cancer research through Komen’s National Research Grant Funding.

How to deal with breast cancer diagnosis: Educate yourself and rely on the support of your physicians, family and friends.

In Virginia: There are 5,420 new diagnoses in Virginia each year.

In Richmond: In our service area, there are 1,861 new diagnoses each year.

What needs to be done to help underserved areas: Continue to raise funds to not only support those who are underserved and uninsured, but also to support the leading edge research that ultimately will end breast cancer forever.

A mammogram is: An X-ray image of the breast that is used to detect breast cancer. Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection and help decrease breast cancer deaths.

How long it takes: Just a few minutes.

If money is a barrier, a woman should: There are numerous organizations in our area that offer assitance. Check out the Komen Central Virginia website, www.komencentralva.org for more information.

How I unwind: Playing with my dog.

Nobody knows I’m: A Kakuro puzzle fan.

The best thing my parents ever taught me: Don’t give up.

The person who influenced me the most: I don’t think I can name just one person.

The book that influenced me the most: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

What I’m reading now: “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson.