KCP and First Lady Jane Beshear have joined forces in the Horses and Hope program, a successful initiative to promote breast cancer awareness, education and screening to horseracing fans and horse industry workers and their families. The program began in 2008 at Kentucky’s four thoroughbred racetracks: Keeneland in Lexington, Turfway Park in Florence, Churchill Downs in Louisville, and Ellis Park in Henderson. It has since expanded to other equine-related locations, including harness racing tracks and horse shows.
Key elements of the program include:
|Pink Race Days: Breast cancer awareness days are held at each Kentucky racetrack once a year. Survivors who buy advance tickets to Pink Race Days receive educational materials at registration, have the opportunity to be photographed with the First Lady, and enjoy a special luncheon and reserved seating at the track. Fans receive breast cancer information in their racing programs and visit breast cancer educational displays. In addition, horses and riders wear pink in a special race dedicated to breast cancer awareness.
|Education and Screening Days: Realizing that many track workers are uninsured or underinsured, KCP hosts breast cancer education and screening days at the four racetracks for all female workers and female relatives of male workers. Information is provided by bilingual staff and volunteers, and mammograms are provided on mobile vans. Eligible women are referred to the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program, the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund, and other resources.
|Pink Race Days and Education and Screening Days are funded by the Kentucky Breast Cancer Research and Education Trust Fund.
|Celebrate Your Birthday: Each year all Kentucky women turning 65 receive a birthday card notifying them that Medicare pays for breast, colon and cervical cancer screening tests. The pink cards are a project of KCP, the Office of the First Lady, and Health Care Excel. About 22,000 cards are sent each year.
|Celebration of Hope: Each May breast cancer survivors from across the state are invited to the Frankfort Convention Center for the First Lady's annual Celebration of Hope luncheon. The event includes speakers, gifts, entertainment and more. Thanks to many generous sponsors, the event is free.|