Shawn O’Brate

RIVERTON – Early on Saturday morning, before the Fremont County Fair truly began, the parking lot of the Riverton SageWest Health Care campus was packed to the gills with men and women sporting pink shirts and tutus. Why? Because it was the second annual Pink Ribbon Run.

The Pink Ribbon Run benefits the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative which provides services like counseling, breast exams, screenings, mammograms, and helps with breast boutique services after surgeries and more. 

This year there were over 100 participants running or walking the 5K, blowing away the numbers from last year when roughly 75-80 participants took to the area around SageWest to walk for breast cancer awareness. 

SageWest’s major partner, the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative, puts together 5K’s across the state year-round but Riverton’s is slowly growing into one of the bigger events on the year, nowhere close to the 1,000 person run in Casper but still a large enough gathering to help hundreds, maybe thousands, who have or are suffering from breast cancer. 

“We’re doing this to celebrate those that have had it and survived, we want to bring awareness because I think there’s so much research going on and we got to support the community and the survivors that are here,” John Whiteside, CEO of SageWest hospitals said before the run began, “early detection is key.”

One of those survivors, Sophie Moseman, was there alongside other survivors and children in pink that were simply excited to join in the fun of the day. After detecting breast cancer back in February of 2018 at her “very first mammogram” Moseman went through the heartache and the pain of partial removal and radiation over the years and although she admits she’s shy about her story, she still wants to help others who may not know.

“It can happen to anybody,” Moseman said “I was in the best shape of my life, I was 42 years old, I owned a fitness studio, I was running marathons and triathlons and I still got it, so just make sure you get your mammograms when you’re supposed to, follow up and listen to your internal voice.”

“I was a little hesitant today but if I can encourage anybody to get a mammogram or not put off a check if they have a lump or something I’m glad to help,” Moseman, a Lander local for the past 22 years, concluded.

Her message was heard loud and clear after an honorary blessing by elder George Leonard, a Native American who wanted to help bless the 5K, and by the end of the day the goal of spreading the word was surely a success.
“I think it went really well, our community really showed up to support a great cause,” Lindsey Anderson, the marketing and communications director of SageWest said after the event, “Every year we’re looking to expand, learn about more survivors, grow with more vendors and get the word out, and I think we did that this year.”

In the end, the message was heard by everyone in attendance and seen by those driving down College View Drive or West Sunset Drive when the horde of pink shirts and outfits flooded the sidewalks. 

“We do it because we believe in the mission, it’s worthwhile and it’s extremely beneficial to the community,” Anderson concluded.

The mission was a huge success and next year’s annual run looks to be even bigger and better. If you’re interested in volunteering, running, or adding something to next year’s Pink Ribbon Run please contact SageWest.