ATHENS — The Third Annual Athens Race for the Cure®, locally presented by the Ohio University School of Nursing and Susan G. Komen Columbus® will welcome 1,500-plus participants to Athens on Sunday, Oct. 15, including two Southeast Ohio women who know all too well about fighting the disease.
Wanda Schaad of Veto, Ohio and Tamara Tate of Athens will serve as the co-honorary Race chairs this year. Both women were diagnosed last year.
The proceeds from the Race will support local community health programs in Southeastern Ohio, including the program through Ohio University that helped detect Wanda’s tumor. She had skipped her mammogram the previous year because of insurance and financial reasons and was put in touch with the Healthy Adult Project: Breast Screening Program, a Susan G. Komen Columbus®-funded program at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Something showed up on the mammogram and an ultrasound and biopsy soon followed.
“Cancer shows no favoritism. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor or young or old. It strikes out at everyone. I just want people to see that it is not always a death sentence. You can beat it. You cannot give up,” Wanda said.
For Tamara, she found her lump when she was just 30 years old. She was insistent that the lump be biopsied, despite her age, lower risk for breast cancer, and recommendation for waiting from a radiologist. Because Tamara advocated for herself, a diagnosis of Stage 2 invasive ductal, triple negative breast cancer soon followed, along with a lumpectomy, mastectomy, reconstruction and 16 chemo treatments. The tumor initially shrunk, but then grew back, so Tamara is currently completing an additional round of chemo to further protect against recurrence.
“I have felt in control and proactive with every step of my treatment,” Tamara said. “I am excited to let others know they are not alone. That a triple negative diagnosis at a young age, while raising kids, can be conquered. I also want to share how wonderful my experience was and let others know there is hope.”
As honorary chairs, Wanda and Tamara will participate in various media activities, attend Race events and encourage fundraising and early detection.
Registration for the event begins at 10 a.m. on Oct. 15, with the opening ceremony and survivor parade at 11:30 a.m. The 5K run and walk begins from Peden Stadium on the Ohio University Campus at noon.
For more information about the Athens Race for the Cure or to register, visit www.athensraceforthecure.org.
Proceeds from the Athens Race for the Cure will support programs specific to the 18 counties in the southeastern Ohio region: Athens, Vinton, Washington, Jackson, Morgan, Perry, Meigs, Gallia, Noble, Hocking, Scioto, Pike, Ross, Fairfield, Muskingum, Guernsey, Monroe and Lawrence.