Churchill Downs, Derby Divas and Norton Cancer Institute have opened the online nomination process to choose 146 breast and ovarian cancer survivors to march in the Survivors Parade at the 146th Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs Friday, May 1. The 146 participants will be announced Mar. 23. Nominations can be made here.
Since the first Survivors' Parade a dozen years ago, Churchill Downs has donated over $1 million to organizations that support the cause of women's health. For the fourth year in a row, Churchill will donate $50,000 to the Breast Health Program at Norton Cancer Institute. Additionally, for every Finlandia Oaks Lily sold on Oaks Day, $1 will be donated to Derby Divas. The funds raised through this partnership has been used to renovate the Norton Prevention & Wellness Mobile Prevention Center, which provides free screening services to underserved patients age 40 and older in Jefferson and surrounding counties. The renovation included the addition of a digital tomosynthesis system, which is an advanced form of breast imaging, or mammography, that uses a low-dose x-ray system and creates multiple three-dimensional images to help with better diagnoses.
“The Survivors Parade has really come to represent the heart of Kentucky Derby week to many fans,” said Tonya Abeln, President of Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation. “The image of women celebrating their survival with family and friends, those still on their hard fought cancer journey and sadly, some walking in memory of a dear loved one is incredibly impactful and inspiring. We are grateful for a partnership with Derby Divas and Norton Cancer Institute that allows us to build on the great work they are doing in our local community to make a global impact.”