Emotions run high in Race for Cure 10,000 raise $550,000 for breast cancer research

October 05, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Despite rain and dreary skies, about 10,000 people walked and ran through downtown Baltimore yesterday, raising $550,000 to help find a cure for breast cancer.

Organizers of Maryland Race for the Cure were surprised by the turnout.

"We were absolutely floored at the number of people who came," said Joanne Kelsey, who co-chaired the event. "I fully expected to have about 5,000 people."

Starting at 8: 30 a.m., participants raced from Conway and Light streets, through downtown to Eager Street and back to Rash Field at the Inner Harbor.

For some, the event was an emotional experience.

Betsy Chandler, a nurse at St. Agnes HealthCare, has treated cancer patients for a decade. She has seen them die; she has seen heroic fights for life.

Yesterday, Chandler walked in the 5K event and found herself awed by a survivor.

The woman, standing in front of the pack, wearing the pink survivors' registration card, flew down the street when the race started.

"That one person was so impressive," said Chandler, 40. "I know what she has been through, the diagnosis and treatments. In a flash, I remember saying to someone, 'Look at her.' "

About 13,500 people had registered for the Maryland Race for the Cure, an arm of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Kelsey said.

Experts predict that breast cancer will kill about 44,000 American women this year.

Information: 410-433-7223.

Pub Date: 10/05/98

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