Komen of NWO announces honorees for 2018 Race for the Cure

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Each year Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio recognizes four individuals from its 24-county service area at the Race for the Cure events in Findlay and Toledo.

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These "In Celebration of" and "In Memory of" honorees are people who have demonstrated courage, inspiration and positivity during their battle with breast cancer.

In Findlay, participants will race "In Celebration of" Sandy Franks.

Sandy Franks is a seven-year breast cancer survivor, and she is a firecracker! Since her diagnosis, Sandy has been an advocate and role model for countless women who have battled breast cancer. Sandy has a strong faith and a genuine desire to help her community. She served on the Findlay Race for the Cure committee and just completed two years as chair of the Findlay Race for the Cure. Sandy retired from Whirlpool in 2008 after 30 years as North American Director of Human Resources. She a past recipient of the nationally acclaimed ATHENA award. Sandy sat on the Habitat for Humanity board and lead Whirlpool's first Women Build. Sandy considers Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio's ability to serve women and create a sisterhood an invaluable resource to her community. Sandy is married to her husband of 30 years, Gary, and has two daughters, Dionne Neubauer and Shauna Pessell. and two step-daughters, Penny Miller and Becky Wasson. She is also the proud grandma of six grandchildren and six step-grandchildren.

Findlay runners and walkers will also be participating "In Memory of" Lucy C. Macias.

Lucy C. Macias handled both her breast cancer, and subsequent pancreatic cancer two-and-a-half years later, with grace. According to her family, through it all she maintained her faith in God. In spite of her health struggles, she amazed her doctors by maintaining her quality of life until her death at 84. In her earlier years, she raised seven children, but also volunteered and taught English as a second language to immigrants. She was a member of the funeral choir for masses at St. Wendelin Parish as well as a Eucharistic minister. Lucy participated in the Race for the Cure for more than 10 years. In the last few years, she cheered on the runners/walkers from the sidelines. According to her family, Lucy will be remembered for having taught her family the art service. Her granddaughter interned at Komen one summer and her daughter, Veronica Burkhardt, is the co-chair of the Toledo Race for the Cure.

The Findlay honorees and their families will be recognized on Saturday, Sept. 29 before the start of the 6th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Findlay at the Blanchard Valley Health Campus in Findlay.

In Toledo, runners and walkers will participate "In Celebration of" Dorena (Rena) Rager.

Rena Rager utilizes her experience as a breast cancer survivor to provide information about breast cancer, self-exams, and treatment options to impoverished populations in rural Belize. She travels annually with Defiance Colleges' McMaster teams. She is currently serving as the adviser to Defiance College's student-run, nonprofit project that will collaborate with Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio. Rena and her husband, Russ, live in Paulding, Ohio. Rena has a daughter, Jessica Rager and a son, Andrew Rager. She is the proud grandma of Andrew's daughter, Andi Lynn Rager.

In Toledo, participants will race "In Memory of" Kelli Andres.

Kelli Andres was an inspiration to everyone she met. Kelli often spoke to fellow breast cancer survivors to bolster their spirits. She worked tirelessly to support the fight against this disease and exuded a perpetually positive outlook on life, despite having lost her leg to bone cancer as a teenager. People who met Kelli were amazed by her gregarious personality and gravitated to join her Race for the Cure team, Team Andres. Kelli will inspire her sons and husband, Van, forever. The family continues to participate and fundraise for the Toledo Race for the Cure. According to Van, "If no more children have to go through life without their mother, then our time and treasure is well spent."

The Toledo honorees and their families will be recognized on Sunday, Sept. 30 before the start of the 25th Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Downtown Toledo.

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