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CMH Breast Cancer 5K Most Successful Ever

Record crowd of 780 turn out to raise funds, awareness

A sea of pink-clad supporters from across Southern Maryland surged into Solomons on Oct. 13 for Calvert Memorial Hospital’s 3rd Annual Breast Cancer 5K Walk/Run. The spirited crowd of 780 easily swamped last year’s turnout and raised over $10,000 to benefit the Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care at CMH.

“We are very grateful to all of the participants for their wonderful energy and overwhelming support,” said Linda Walton, the breast center’s navigator. “Their support will make sure our patients get the help they need to boost their spirits and make their treatment a little easier.”

From six to 77 they laced up to hit the pavement to also raise awareness about the importance of scheduling routine mammograms. Studies show that one woman in eight will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. And as survivors know, early detection can make all the difference. 

The CMH breast center combines the strength of state-of-art imaging technology and advanced clinical knowledge with care that treats each patient as a whole individual. Each member of the multidisciplinary team has specialized training in cancer care and is familiar with the latest treatment options. Today, Southern Maryland residents don’t have to leave the area to receive some of the best care available.

Proceeds from the race, said Kasia Sweeney, associate vice president for corporate communication at CMH, will be used to expand support services available to all patients of the breast center as well as to support a special fund for patient financial assistance.

Sweeney recognized sponsors Calvert Medical Imaging Center and World Gym for their extraordinary commitment to the event. “Their generous contribution is always appreciated and essential to the success of the 5K,” she said. “We are glad to be able to work with partners like these that are dedicated to serving their community.”

She also thanked the numerous volunteers who helped with the event including Josh Woodburn, Tyler Sullivan, Stacy McCurdy and Maddie Smith of the Huntingtown High School National Honor Society and Nancy Wolf-Fisher, Suzanne Pavelko, Anne O’Leary and Karen Merewitz of Huntingtown Elementary School. Our Lady Star of the Sea School and Winnie and Joseph Niemi of Boy Scout Troop #451 in Lusby staffed the water stations along the route while Jenny Barrett of M&T Bank helped with registration. “I would also like to recognize the countless hospital auxiliary members and CMH staff who volunteered their time to make the event a success,” she said. “And a special shout out goes to Luke Stevens and Ted Mohn for taking turns as LEAPS.”

The family friendly event began with a warm-up by World Gym trainers James Sutton and Erick Walker who were joined by CMH mascot LEAPS wearing his pink race T-shirt. One of the highlights was definitely the drawing for the 50” flat screen TV donated by World Gym. The lucky number was held by 10-year-old Wyatt Garrett of Chesapeake Beach. His mother, Bernadette Garrett, a registered nurse who works in the hospital’s birth center was quick to remind him that she bought the ticket.

The Center for Breast Care at CMH was the dream of Dr. Goldberg, whose sudden death in a rafting accident in 2011 devastated the Calvert County community. He was the driving force behind the breast center, working tirelessly for two years, planning and organizing the myriad of details involved in creating the facility that would become the first of its kind in Southern Maryland.

Just before the race began, Goldberg’s wife, Dr. Ramona-Crowley-Goldberg talked about the importance of having a first-class breast center available locally. She also thanked the attendees for their support and added that “today’s race is a time for us to remember all the courageous women and men in Calvert County who have bravely faced cancer, and also to remember a wonderful husband, father, friend – Dr. Sheldon Goldberg, dedicated surgeon and humanitarian, who for 26 years in Calvert County, helped so many battle and survive the disease.”

The participants came from far and wide, some inspired by the loved ones who have survived, many motivated by those who continue the daily battle and others determined to keep the memory alive of those who are now gone. The sense of unity and common purpose was as pervasive as the color pink – the signature color of breast cancer awareness. They proudly wore pink gloves, sweatshirts, scarves, knit caps, socks and for the fashion-forward pink feather boas, tutus and even pink-streaked hair.

They came with friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and they all had a story to tell. Christina Walker of Chesapeake Beach was there with her friend Chelsea Russell. “My grandmother is a survivor … so I’m doing it for her.” Marie Barrett of St. Leonard wore her mother’s picture on a button pinned to her top. “She passed in 2005 … the whole family is coming.”

Cailin Doyle, 30, of Lexington Park came with her mother Christy Henderson of Ridge who is a three-year-survivor and friend Tiffany Wilson. “It’s always been a cause that I felt was important to support,” she said.

Lisa Lebo drove 4 ½ hours from Paxinos, PA to be with her daughter, Marissa McKenna of Lusby, who was running her first 5K. Another first-time participant Carol Esau of Solomons laughingly offered, “I’m a walker not a runner.” She was joined by Jean Wright of Oyster Bay who was participating in memory of her friend, Judy, who passed away seven years ago.

Caitlin Jones of Edgewater was there with her mother, Lorrie Falls of Owings, who said, “We have a cousin with breast cancer and we’re very grateful she is doing well.” Jamie Harrison joined 36 others from Southern Maryland Oral Surgery to complete the 3.1-mile course around the tiny island. This was the second year they participated.

Eighteen minutes and three seconds after the race started, the winner crossed the finish line. Noah Wood, 29, of Prince Frederick teaches first grade students with special needs at Arrowhead Elementary School in Upper Marlboro. A close second was Andrew MacWilliams of St. Leonard, who came in 17 seconds later. The top female was Hannah Couto of Prince Frederick, a sophomore at The Calverton School who runs cross country, who finished at 22:30.

An elated Dawn Brown clocked in at 38:35 with her daughter Meagan cheering from the sidelines to be hugged fiercely by her brother Chris Denton who came from Delaware to run by her side.

A self-confessed couch potato, the 45-year-old Lusby resident started her journey to the finish line six months ago when she decided to train for her first 5K with two friends, Angela Horn and Robyn Shaw-Allston. “The program was supposed to take nine weeks but it took us 22 weeks because we had to repeat some of the steps,” she explained.

Still breathing heavy from the race she said, “I’m over the moon. I had a nice cry at the finish line.”  For her the day was a big win. “I beat my personal goal of 45 minutes.”  And the smile on her daughter’s face said it all. “It was really great to watch her come across the finish line.”

Please click here for the results of the Calvert Memorial Hospital 5K filtered by age group.

Please click here for the overall results of the Calvert Memorial Hospital 5K.

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