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Race for the Cure
         Barbara A. Killmeyer

On Mother's Day, May 11, Schenley Park will once again be bustling with activity as Pittsburgh women, men and children put their best foot forward in the 5k run/walk to combat breast cancer. A one-mile fun walk will also be part of the agenda.

This year will be the 11th Annual Pittsburgh Race for the Cure organized by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The Foundation, founded in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, is one of the largest organizations of its kind to focus solely on breast cancer. The Race for the Cure is presented in 112 cities in the U.S. and 3 cities throughout the world.

Paul Culley, broker/owner of RE/MAX offices in Wexford and Cranberry is proud to say that RE/MAX is one of the sponsors for the event. Culley explained that RE/MAX President, Margaret Kelly is a breast cancer survivor and saw this as a way for the company to participate in a project that would assist women and men to combat this disease.

The popularity of this race has exploded and the 2002 event was the largest race in Pittsburgh. The first race had 3,000 registrants, 150 of them breast cancer survivors. In that initial year $93,000 was raised for the cause. On board were 36 corporate and foundation sponsors and the support of 250 volunteers. Compare that with the statistics from last year when 38,000 people registered including 2,200 survivors. A grand total of 1.5 million dollars was realized, corporate sponsorship rose to 120 and a record number of 850 support volunteers gave of their time and efforts.

There will be no problem spotting breast cancer survivors taking part in the race this year because they will be sporting pink hats and t-shirts provided by RE/MAX.

Breast cancer is not only confined to women, men are targets too, and the statistics are frightening. During the 1990's invasive breast cancer struck approximately 1.8 million women and 12,000 men. The numbers are slowly decreasing and the estimates for this year are 182,000 women and 1,400 men. Of these figures approximately 40,000 women and 400 men will die of the disease. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in cancer related deaths. Now for the good news: when the cancer is confined to the breast, the five year survival rate is over 95%.

Locally the Race for the Cure is organized by the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section and their efforts have gone far to help fulfill the mission of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation which is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.

Janet Walley of Glenshaw and Katie Kukieza of Gibsonia have both been taking part in the race for several years.

Walley is a breast cancer survivor and said, "This is a very good way to make people aware of breast cancer and a wonderful way to raise money for a cure. Also, about 75% of the money raised stays right here in Pittsburgh." She said, It's fun, kind of an uplifting experience and it's great to see how many people care." Walley was diagnosed seven years ago and has been participating in the race for the past six years. She doesn't worry about the weather because in those six years there has not been a bad day for the race. Each person who enters the race has a different reason for doing so. Walley said, "I hate to preach, but 1 in 8 will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. My reason for walking is that I feel by doing this I give something back. I really appreciate the fact that I've not had a recurrence and feel I need to walk to show my appreciation and support."

Katie Kukieza has been part of the Race for the Cure for the past 4 years. She runs on a regular basis for the exercise and loves running in races. She says that it keeps her motivated. "Each year," she said, "I try to better my time." Kukieza said, "That race is breathtaking, it's unbelievable to see the number of people who come each year." She urges everyone, women, men and children, to please come out to show your support for the cure for breast cancer. She also promises that you will have fun.

For more information about the Race for the Cure internet users can go to www.remax.com and click on Racing For Life. While you're there you can sign up for a free monthly reminder for self-examination. You can also get information at www.pittsburghraceforthecure.org. Your can register for the Race once of four ways. Registration fee includes a t-shirt to the first 38,000 participants, bib, souvenir book and post-Race refreshments.

  1. On-Line registration (no processing fee and quickest and easiest) www.pittsburghraceforthecure.org. Deadlline is April28 at 11:59 pm EST. Major credit cards are accepted. Over18 years of age $15 - under 18 - $10
  2. Mail-in registration: Deadline: Friday April 25. Download entry form from above site. Fee same as above.
  3. Race week registration - $20. May 6 & 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at any Dick's Sporting Goods store including the store in Cranberry Square.
  4. Race day registration - $30. Sunday, May 11, 2003, 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park in the Red Balloon Tent.

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