Tina Shelton, Angelique Fong, Sharael Kolberg, Susannah Torok.

Story and Image provided by Sharael Kolberg
Recent breast cancer survivor, and Laguna Beach resident, Sharael Kolberg has been named as Susan G Komen Orange County’s “2020 Most Inspirational Breast Cancer Survivor.” She received this award for her “50 for the Cure” endeavor where she ran 50 miles, in 50 days, in 50 states (virtually), for her 50th birthday, to promote breast cancer awareness.
A Susan G. Komen Orange County representative stated, “Her positive attitude inspired others in Laguna to learn to smile through the tough stuff. Now she is taking that message and spreading it across all 50 states.”
Her journey began on her 50th birthday, Aug. 11, 2020, and since then she’s been running or walking one mile every day in Laguna Beach. During “50 for the Cure,” she walked with one person from each state live via Zoom. Several other supporters, from all over the country, logged in to run or walk along with Kolberg, from their own neighborhoods – or watched and support from the comfort of their couch. Kolberg had originally planned on running in person in all 50 states but had to pivot her plan due to COVID-19.
“I’ve been so touched by the outpouring of support for my endeavor and it is such an honor to be recognized by Susan G. Komen Orange County for the work I’m doing,” said Kolberg. “I’ve enjoyed meeting someone from every state and getting a virtual glimpse of states I’ve never been to. But the real impact is saving lives by promoting early detection for breast cancer during my virtual walks.”
Kolberg partnered with Susan G. Komen to provide supporters with resources on detection, diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer and to raise money for research to find a cure. According to Susan G. Komen, more than 270,000 women and men in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and more than 42,000 will die. With early detection (stage I), survival rates can be 98 percent or higher.
“I want to encourage women to get their mammograms on time and do their self-exams regularly,” said Kolberg. “And for those who are currently struggling with breast cancer, I want them to know that I’ve been in their shoes. I want to give them hope that they will soon be in my shoes – out running again!”
The end of Kolberg’s “50 for the Cure” journey led up to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To continue her cause, she created the “31 for the Cure Challenge” where she is challenging people to walk or run 31 miles by Oct. 31 to raise awareness and money for breast cancer, and to promote a healthy lifestyle. Participants can run or walk where they are, when they want. They can track their miles on the Charity Miles app and have the option to participate in a weekly Zoom run/walk together throughout the month of October. By Nov. 1, 2020, Kolberg will have run 82 miles (one mile a day for 82 consecutive days).
“During these stressful times, we all need an excuse to get out and exercise, to clear our minds and take care of our bodies,” says Kolberg. “Why not do that while also saving lives…one mile at a time.”
Sign up to take the Challenge at 50fortheCure.org.