Chyloe Frank believes that a cure for breast cancer will come in her lifetime.
"That's my goal," said Frank, who was diagnosed with the disease three years ago at the age of 35. "I have a 9-year-old daughter, and I don't want her to have to worry about it."
Frank isn't the only one who has that goal. Breast cancer will soon surpass lung cancer as the most common type of cancer. Though the five-year survival rate is 89 percent, in 2005, more than 500,000 people died from the disease.
BMW of North America has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for a Cure in order to help bring about an end to the disease. Each year, the luxury automobile maker holds The Ultimate Drive, an event in which individual BMW dealers allow people to test drive BMW models and, for each mile driven, donate $1 to the local Komen affiliate. In Central New York, Burdick BMW at Drivers' Village participates in the event, which took place this year on Saturday Sept. 13.
"It's great because we're not asking people to go into their own wallets," said Kate Flannery, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure of Central New York. "You don't have to be of a certain wealth to give. You just have to drive."
For the nationwide, 305-day event, BMW has a fleet of about 10 cars that travel from dealership to dealership, 210 in all. The dealership designs a route for the drivers to follow -- here in Central New York, drivers leave Drivers' Village, get on Route 481 South, take it to Northern Boulevard and come back. BMW donates $1 to Komen for each mile driven.
"It's a nice way people can donate without reaching into their own pockets," said Livvy Kronhaus, also of Komen CNY. "Last year, we had a single mom who was a survivor. She didn't have a lot, so she couldn't afford to make a big donation. But she came and she drove 10 different cars 10 miles each. So she donated $100 without having to give anything of her own."