Race for the Cure 2007 -- a huge success! - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Race for the Cure 2007 -- a huge success!

WTOL carried the race from 9 to 11 on Channel 11 and streamed it live on wtol.com.

TOLEDO -- It was a sea of pink. It was memories of loved ones lost to a dreaded disease. It was celebrations of those who've survived. It was hope for a cure for breast cancer -- the motivator that got more than 17,000 folks up and out to participate on a glorious Sunday in September.

It was the 14th annual Komen Race for the Cure, a huge success, thanks to the volunteers and participants who come out every year in support of this cause.  

News 11's Chrys Peterson kicked off the race at 9 a.m., welcoming those 17,000 participants.

This year's race was in honor of Georgie Navarro, who died in January 2006. Georgie's whole family came out in her memory.

The race was also in celebration of Jackie Stalter, who has survived her battle with breast cancer. Jackie, her husband and their two daughters came out to participate.

Our reporters and anchors were out and about talking with racers -- many of whom are breast cancer survivors --  enjoying the race, the music, the day.

And not just runners and walkers participated. Dave Carlson talked with Helen, who was in a wheelchair. "I will be 92 in one month," she answered when Dave asked her how old she is.

The Rossford football team was there, said News 11's Robert Shiels. The LaVoy kids were out walking in memory of their mother. Many participants stressed that early detection is the key to getting ahead of this disease.

News 11's Gary Sensentein and his kids walked for his wife, Melissa Voetsch's, mother. Some folks wore bunny ears -- and tails -- and, of course, everyone wore the color pink. 

Dan Bumpus rode the Survivor Trolley, full of women who currently going through treatment. The women wanted to be part of the event but, because they're undergoing treatment right now, they had to ride the bus.

Donna King, a five-year survivor was on the bus as was Deborah Roberts, who said, "We look forward to coming back to this event every year."

"The energy is unbelievable," said News 11's Colleen Wells about the event.

Brad Harvey talked with a couple of ladies in pink boas and hats. Sue and Gwen, friends since the age of six, had gone their separate ways for about 20 years. At the race in 2001, they ran into each other and have been doing the race together ever since. Both women are breast cancer survivors.

SkyTrack 11 Climatologist, Dave Carlson, predicted dry conditions with partly cloudy skies, for today's race. And, he was right!

News 11's Jerry Anderson was live at Fifth Third Field to welcome racers and walkers at the end of the event. He talked with survivor Mary who's been on the race planning committee for the last five years.

News 11's Shelley Brown came across Deb Johnson whose 88-year-old father came out to support her for the race.

"You just can't even synthesize the diagnosis. You go through a whole range of emotions," Deb said about her own journey. She says she's grateful to her family and friends -- 55 of whom came out to walk with her today.

Robin, who fell over a curb and couldn't do the race, was going to walk in memory of several friends, including Ruth and Sharon. "I think women need our support. Yeah, your family and friends are there to support you, but they really don't know what you're going through," Robin says, while waiting for racers and walkers at Fifth Third Field.

News 11's Jonathan Walsh talked with News 11's Lisa Rantala who ran the race. "It was a great time," Lisa said. "I was very excited to see my WTOL family throughout the event."

A little girl who dyed her hair in honor of her mom, talked with News 11's Melissa Voetsch. "She's a survivor," the girl said about her mom.

One woman recommended that women newly diagnosed with breast cancer should "seek out wellness centers."

Shelley Brown talked with Tiffany, a 27-year-old woman who was diagnosed not long ago. "I just found a lump," she said when asked about her symptoms. Her parents, aunts, uncles and friends were out en masse to support her. "It can happen at any age," Tiffany said.

"It's awesome. And every year it gets bigger. We're hoping there's a cure," one survivor told News 11's Brad Harvey.

When they finished, racers and walkers and wheelers met at Fifth Third Field to form themselves into a giant ribbon to honor the day, the cause, their loved ones. News 11's Chrys Peterson emceed that event.

Every year the Race for the Cure quilters design and create a quilt to be raffled. Out of 26 quilters this year, 13 are breast cancer survivors.

Mary says next year's quilt will have tulips -- "It's going to be beautiful." Then she added, "Get an annual mammogram and be educated." This year, more than $35,000 was raised for breast cancer research -- from just the raffle.

The Komen Race for the Cure raises funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. It also celebrates breast cancer survivorship, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.

Updated by KO

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