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OU-COM Participates in Race for the Cure

Team Ladies for Ladies raises more than $1,000

Colleen Kiphart

May 21, 2009

On May 16, several OU-COM medical students went to Columbus to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a national event to raise funds and awareness about breast cancer.

The OU-COM students garnered more than $1,000 in donations for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, a national organization that supports OU-COM’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP), which provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to uninsured and underinsured women in Appalachian Ohio counties.

“It’s important to give back to this organization, since it has provided our program with more than $540,000 to fund breast cancer screenings and treatment for women in Southeastern Ohio,” says Cindy Greenlee, nurse practitioner with the college’s Office of Community Health Programs (CHP).

Joanne Bray, OU-COM director of clinical competency assessment, agrees, “(Komen) has done so much to support us throughout the years. It is nice to be able to return our support for them.”

The OU-COM team, named Ladies for Ladies, raced among more than 46,000 participants this year. The event raised $2 million for the foundation to continue its mission of providing breast cancer screening and treatment services to the public.  

“It was such a moving experience,” Bray says, “There were all kinds of people – men, women, families – and they were all in this one cause. Along the race there were musicians and volunteers encouraging you to keep going. It was just wonderful.”

Two mother-daughter pairs from OU-COM ran the race, including: CHP Director Kathy Trace with her daughter, Misty Montgomery; and Janice Smith, BCCP nurse coordinator and breast cancer survivor, with her daughter, Amy.  

OU-COM was represented not only on the track, but also in the booths lining the road. Students manned a booth to share literature about CHP services at OU-COM.

Among the more striking images from the day was the team honoring Columbus anchorwoman Heather Pick, who lost her battle with breast cancer on November 7.  

“There were 5,000 people who they called themselves Heather’s Team and wore bright pink wigs in honor of her. You turned the corner onto High Street and there was this sea of pink hair,” Bray recalls, adding, “I encourage anybody who supports breast cancer awareness to join in next year. This is something you will never forget.”

 
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