Broad Ripple Broads making a big difference in the race for the cure

"Broad Ripple Broads" along with family and friends getting ready to head to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. (Broad Ripple Broads)
Race for the Cure
Race for the Cure
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Thousands of Hoosiers are looking ahead to Saturday's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. They'll be walking or running for a cause close to their hearts.

“I knew I wasn’t going to die because people walked before me.”

A group from Broad Ripple has had the date marked on the calendar for a long time.

The "Broad Ripple Broads" is made up of 15 women and one man. Some are relatives, others are friends. Together they make up a solid team that's stayed together for a long time already.

Suzanne Engle is one of the founding members. She's a breast cancer survivor after being diagnosed 12 years ago.

"It was about a day and a half after I turned 50. Happy birthday," Suzanne said with a laugh. "When I was diagnosed, it was like, 'why am I not worried about dying?'"

Suzanne Engle and her daughter-in-law Rachel. (WTHR Staff)

Her answer surrounds her still today. We talked with her at a restaurant in Broad Ripple with about a dozen of her closest friends at the table.

"I knew I wasn’t going to die because people walked before me. They raised money, they funded research," said Suzanne. "So that’s what we do."

"Sometimes people aren’t close to their mother-in-law, but I'm super close to her," said Rachel Engle, who is Suzanne's daughter-in-law. "I feel like this has been a great way for us to hang out outside of just family stuff. We end up spending a lot of time together and it’s been awesome."

Fundraising isn't just a once a year thing for the Broad Ripple Broads." They raise money, even during the off-season, at different spots around the village. Some of those events include the Kentucky Derby-themed "Double D Derby" and a basket fundraiser, which they have at Blind Owl Brewery. The goal for each is to have fun so people want to come back.

Part of their motivation can be found on the front page of the group's website. There are pictures of three women who were taken too soon.

"Broad Ripple Broads" fundraiser. (Broad Ripple Broads)

"People are still dying," said Engle. "Until that stops, we feel like we have to keep going. From 11 years ago being at $2,500 to now we’re at $40,000 a year, it’s pretty incredible, something we’re really proud of."

Suzanne has been the top individual fundraiser for several years.

Raising money is important, but they say the best part of Saturday's event is seeing and supporting all their friends.

"We kind of make a whole day of it, so it's fun to see everyone and reconnect with that," said Rachel. "It's just such an empowering thing to see people you’re affecting by your fundraising."

The Race for the Cure is this Saturday at Military Park in Indianapolis. The walk starts at 9 am. If you want to find out more, click here.