A handful of law enforcement agencies from throughout Dane County converged on Winnequah Park in Monona on Friday, Oct. 4, to kick off another year of Justice for a Cure.

“What started here as a breast cancer group is turning into all cancers,” said Joan Kamholz, a retired Dane County sheriff’s deputy and founder of the group.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is used as the traditional kickoff time for this nonprofit organization.

Kamholz began Justice for a Cure in 2008 as a way for the law enforcement family to get more involved with the community by, educating, bringing awareness, supporting survivors and those going through their journey, honoring those died, and raising funds to support local cancer programs, and support cancer research to find the cures for cancer.

“In 2007, as I was planning my retirement from 30 years of law enforcement, I heard four words that changed my life forever, ‘You have breast cancer,’” she said on the group’s website. “My entire world came to a sudden halt. My joyous planning and excitement came to an end while I took on one more fight.”

Proceeds from fundraisers benefit two cancer research programs and many cancer support programs, she said.

“We’re very happy to support Justice for a Cure,” Monona Mayor Mary O’Connor said. “It’s obviously a very important cause. Two (Monona) council members had siblings die of cancer within the last two weeks. Everybody’s affected by it. I think it’s really … special that the public safety organizations around the state are supporting this.”

Kamholz said it’s important to never forget friends and family who have lost their battle with cancer.

“We carry them with us,” she said.

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