The Run for the Cure Foundation (RFTC) is a non-profit organization focused on breast cancer awareness in Japan. Operating in Tokyo since 2003, their mission is to eradicate breast cancer in Japan as a life-threatening disease through education, timely screening, and treatment. They also hope to impact social change at the individual level by sharing knowledge and empowering people.
RFTC funds education initiatives, donates funds to organizations that promote related activities, and develops and executes community outreach programs. The Foundation also funds clinical examinations (3,600+ to date) and has donated six mammography machines in areas where women are underserved, benefitting more than 18,000 women to date.
RFTC holds multiple events each year open to the general public to raise funds and awareness of their cause. Some annual fundraisers include:
- Run for the Cure/Walk for Life: held in Tokyo at the end of each year, this lively event draws close to 1,000 participants who take part in the annual 10K/5K run or 3K walk to raise funds and awareness about breast cancer.
- Pink Ball: the Foundation’s biggest charity event of the year, usually held in early spring. It is a black-tie fundraising gala dedicated to advancing breast cancer research, education, and awareness. It is the Foundation’s goal for at least 75% of ticket sales and auction proceeds to go directly toward achieving RFTC’s mission. 250 guests were in attendance in 2014, enjoying a night of good food and top-notch entertainment, while supporting a worthy cause and raising 14 million yen.
- Cuisine for the Cure: a charity dinner hosted by different embassies in Tokyo in early summer. Guests to this fundraiser are treated to entertainment, auctions, and great food. The 2014 event was themed “Grazie Italia!” providing delectable Southern Italian cuisine at the renowned gardens at the Italian Embassy. The 2016 event was held at the Australian Embassy.
- Casino Night: a night of gambling and entertainment, rounded out with live and silent auctions to raise funds for RFTC. In its first year (2013), the event attracted more than 300 people. This event typically takes place in September at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Tokyo.
Other outreach efforts include the PiNK Beauty Party, a special day of beauty treatments for breast cancer survivors and their families, and the Lemon Project, RFTC’s free education initiative to increase awareness about breast cancer. The Lemon Project provides information about the signs of breast cancer and how to conduct self-examinations, using lemons! The free seminars can be held in English or Japanese and last approximately one hour, reaching up to 200 people in each session.
RFTC also publishes PiNK, Japan’s only magazine dedicated to breast cancer. 18,000+ copies of the quarterly magazine are distributed free-of-charge nationwide, providing the latest information about breast cancer treatment and related health and lifestyle topics in English and Japanese. For more information about RFTC, visit their webpage.