ST. LOUIS – Hundreds of women helped raise money for cancer research in our community at the third annual Women’s Event with the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer on Wednesday.

Women who attended the event listened to a powerful message from a woman very familiar with cancer.

“It’s up to us as women, the ones who take care of everyone else in our lives, to put us on our to-do list,” said Joan Lunden, a breast cancer survivor.

Lunden is a longtime journalist and breast cancer survivor. She’s using her voice to spread information to women across the country.

“I instantly knew after my diagnosis that it was not just going to be my cancer story,” Lunden said. “It was going to become my new mission, and it was an amazing opportunity to carry on the legacy of my dad, who was a prominent cancer surgeon.”

She said she wants women everywhere to be aware of their health.

“I never thought I would be the person diagnosed because I didn’t know you know any family history, and I learned that that is kind of a myth,” Lunden said.

Wednesday’s event was about several types of cancer. The St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer has helped raise millions of dollars to help people fight cancer across St. Louis.

“We give to large groups and some small groups that their people would fall through the cracks,” said Margie Price, executive director of St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer. “So I would say the latest hope, the empowerment network, Haven House, Camp Rainbow, of course, Simon Cancer Center, Cardinal Glennon, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, I have to keep going.”

Lunden said she hopes her story inspires women to become more informed.

“The only way you’re going to know that something is wrong is if you know what your normal feels like,” she said. “So it’s very important that we are all the CEO of our own health.”