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Shades of Pink walk at the Detroit Zoo helps support women in financial distress when facing breast cancer diagnosis

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It doesn’t get much better than a casual stroll through the zoo, unless you help those in need at the same time.

The Shades of Pink Foundation (SOPF) will do just that Saturday, April 30, as their A Walk at the Zoo raises money for those afflicted with breast cancer, but not able to support themselves financially. It is the 11th year for the walk and 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to breast cancer patients and their families.

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Many of us have family members or friends who have heard those horrible words, “You have breast cancer.” Joining this walk is way to honor them and their fight and help others.

We know cancer doesn’t just strike those who can afford to treat it. For many it only adds another weight to already troubled and frightened patients and their families. For those down on their financial luck, SOPF helps provide money for daily living expenses which includes mortgage and rent payments, transportation costs, day care expenses, utility bills and groceries.

Just last year, the financial burden for breast cancer patients was lifted to the tune of $300,000. All of that money went right to the aid of the patience and their families.

The honorary chair of the event is Michigan’s First Lady Sue Snyder, who survived a bout with breast cancer 12 years ago.

First Lady Sue Snyder

First Lady Sue Snyder

“As a breast cancer survivor myself, I understand the emotional and financial burden a diagnosis places on an entire family. Each year, Shades of Pink continues to grow and connect more metro Detroit women with services that help make their diagnosis a little more manageable,” Snyder says. “Through the Foundation’s support, families have the ability to spend more time together and focus on beating this disease. The Zoo Walk has become something I look forward to every spring. The community it creates and the work the Foundation does is something Michiganders can be proud of.”

The schedule for the days is as follows:

7:00 a.m. – Registration and Big Top and vendor tents open (featuring raffles, shopping, face painting and breakfast snacks)

8:00 a.m. – Opening ceremony (welcome from the Foundation and Sue Snyder, stories from recipients, team and sponsor recognitions)

8:30 a.m. – Walk begins – Participants have the option to complete either a one-, three- or six-mile course as well as enjoy the zoo for the day

12:00 p.m. – Big Top and vendor tent closes

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Early registration has closed. However, late registration is still possible through 5:00 p.m. on  April 27  You can also register from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. the morning of the Walk at the Detroit Zoo.

The cost for late and day-of registration is $45 for adults, $35 for children 6-17, and $10 for little ones (ages 2-5). Kids under two are free. The cost does not include a t-shirt. Advance packet pick-up and late registration will be available on Thursday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Art Van Furniture located at 32301 Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak.

If you can’t get there to walk you can still help. Be a “Sleep Walker” and make a donation. Check it out here.

“A breast cancer diagnosis can pose numerous challenges for a person to overcome, including financial, and our goal is to help women continue to live as normally as possible while going through treatment,” says Dr. Pamela R. Benitez, a breast surgeon at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and vice president and medical director of the Foundation.

For more information or to register for the walk, volunteer and to make online donations and sponsorships, visit or e-mail

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