YOU CAN’T JUST THINK PINK

Thou­sands hit city streets to raise money to fight can­cer.

The Times-Tribune - - Front Page - BY KYLE WIND STAFF WRITER

When Alvira Ed­wards had a lump in her breast about 30 years ago, her doc­tor told her not to worry.

By the time the Elmhurst Twp. res­i­dent was di­ag­nosed with can­cer, it was too late to save the woman that her nieces, El­lie McCauley and Lyn Gior­dano, still think of as a se­cond mother.

A gen­er­a­tion later, when McCauley, 53, and Gior­dano, 56, join the an­nual Komen NEPA Race for the Cure, they nor­mally do it in re­mem­brance of Ed­wards and two other aunts who suf­fered from breast can­cer, to sup­port the cause and be­cause they like walk­ing.

The event had added sig­nif­i­cance for the Le­high Twp. sis­ters this year, how­ever, as they joined more than 3,000 peo­ple Satur­day for the 27th an­nual 5K walk/run that raises money for can­cer re­search and other as­sis­tance for North­east Penn­syl­va­nia res­i­dents.

“I ended up with breast can­cer this year, so it’s a lit­tle more im­por­tant,” McCauley said. “I had three surg­eries and ra­di­a­tion. They said I’m good,

and now I’m just do­ing fol­low-up. I’m hop­ing for the best.”

McCauley re­called first re­ceiv­ing the ter­ri­fy­ing di­ag­no­sis and feel­ing like she’d been punched in the face. She said Delta Medix and Dr. Kris­tine Kel­ley took good care of her, and a third lumpec­tomy over a four-week span al­lowed her to avoid a mas­tec­tomy.

Un­like her aunt, doc­tors caught the can­cer in time be­cause McCauley gets reg­u­lar screen­ings.

“What (Ed­wards) told all of us was if you ever feel a lump and your doc­tor says, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ get a new doc­tor im­me­di­ately,” McCauley said. “(I get screen­ings) ev­ery year. They said if I didn’t do it ev­ery year, they prob­a­bly would have missed it.”

Dolly Woody, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Komen NEPA, said the turnout for Satur­day’s fes­tiv­i­ties was higher than last year’s, and the or­ga­ni­za­tion was hop­ing to raise $200,000.

Of the money raised, 25 per­cent goes to can­cer re­search while the rest stays in North­east Penn­syl­va­nia to fund can­cer screen­ings, ed­u­ca­tion and treat­ments.

“This is an event that is re­ally about the sur­vivors,” she said. “Ev­ery­thing we do is to help us to get to­ward the ul­ti­mate goal, which is to find a cure. And while we’re wait­ing for that to hap­pen, we need to be avail­able to peo­ple who need us the most: peo­ple who don’t have in­sur­ance and need to get a breast screen­ing that they’ve never had be­fore be­cause they couldn’t af­ford it.”

Scran­ton Run­ning Co. was the race di­rec­tor and event man­age­ment team this year and split run­ners and walk­ers into two routes at North Washington Av­enue, where walk­ers con­tin­ued to Court­house Square and run­ners headed to Adams Av­enue and Lin­den Street.

Race co­or­di­na­tor Jill Ei­den­berg thought it was a hit and said 500 peo­ple pre-reg­is­ter­ing to run the course — an in­crease from last year — sug­gested se­ri­ous rac­ers liked the change.

The top time for men went to Matt Mur­ray of Dun­more at 16 min­utes and 52 sec­onds, while Shick­shinny res­i­dent Josey Ru­pert fin­ished first among women at 19 min­utes and 46 sec­onds.

Or­ga­niz­ers also added more ac­tiv­i­ties at this year’s event, in­clud­ing “pink hair on the square,” pump­kin paint­ing and an ob­sta­cle course for chil­dren, to make the event more fam­ily friendly.

Kerri Gaughan pushed her 1½-year-old daugh­ter, Quinn, in a stroller as the Clarks Sum­mit res­i­dent ran in the main event, join­ing other par­tic­i­pants who ran with dogs on leashes or car­ried small chil­dren on their shoul­ders as they walked the course.

The 32-year-old said she and her daugh­ter reg­u­larly jog to­gether at the Clarks Sum­mit trol­ley trail.

“She’s a good coach,” Gaughan said. Con­tact the writer: kwind@timessham­rock.com; 570-348-9100, x5181; @kwindTT on Twit­ter

JAKE DANNA STEVENS / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Mem­bers of Scran­ton Run­ning Co.’s Bar­rier Break­ers — in­clud­ing Laura Fierke, cen­ter, and Kath­leen Haikes, both of Scran­ton — em­brace Satur­day af­ter fin­ish­ing the Su­san G. Komen NEPA Race for the Cure in down­town Scran­ton.

JAKE DANNA STEVENS / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Breast can­cer sur­vivors An­drea Swen­ski, left, and Mary Anne Meeker dance their way to the fin­ish line Satur­day dur­ing the 27th an­nual Su­san G. Komen NEPA Race for the Cure in down­town Scran­ton.

JAKE DANNA STEVENS / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Left, top: Cameron Schwartz, 7, of Moun­tain Top has a pink de­sign sprayed into her hair by Malcolm’s Hair­cut­ters’ Michele Mar­torana of Scran­ton. Left, bot­tom: Ava Ram­sey, 12, of Clarks Sum­mit picks up fin­isher medals that she’ll hand out to kids at the fin­ish line. Above: Ashtynne DeLucy, 5, is helped by her fa­ther, Alan DeLucy, through the Ath­letes Car­ing To­gether ob­sta­cle course.

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