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CMH Sponsoring Second 5k Breast Cancer Challenge

It was a challenge Anita Robinson felt compelled to answer and she's glad she did. Robinson, who works in the Calvert Memorial Hospital (CMH) Business Office was one of 300 hospital employees and area residents who in 2010 participated in a first-ever 5K run/walk to raise funds to help in the local fight against breast cancer.  Robinson also trained with a team of her CMH coworkers to not only get ready for the race but to craft a strategy for staying healthy. 

CMH fitness trainers led participating CMH staff in following the "Challenge" book - a 12-week guide to getting fit and ready for the race. "I enjoyed training with my colleagues at the hospital and it was a good learning experience," said Robinson, of the 2010 5K Breast Cancer Challenge. "It was rigorous training, a combination of walking and running."

The Center for Breast Care at CMH recently announced plans for its second annual Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk. In addition to raising funds for the center, the event will challenge its participants to raise fitness levels, protect health and improve diets.
Robinson indicated she would be back again for the challenge and the early-autumn race, which organizers hope will eclipse last year's impressive numbers.

The 2011 5K will be held in Solomons on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8:30 a.m.  As a prelude to the October event, CMH is again sponsoring the 5K Breast Cancer Challenge. During the weeks leading up to the event participants, like Robinson and her coworkers, will schedule three workouts per week, gradually increase the times of the workouts, make changes in daily diets and take proactive measures to get screened for such things as cancer, high cholesterol and osteoporosis. While they are not a cure, just putting those healthier lifestyle practices into place reduces one's risk for many types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

The Center for Breast Care at CMH is the first facility of its kind in Southern Maryland. At the center, local women have access to an experienced team of breast health experts. The technology used is state-of-the-art. All screening  mammograms performed at the facility are read by breast imaging experts from Johns Hopkins Hospital. While the examination and diagnoses components are significant, the comprehensive and coordinated care received during treatment and survivorship is also part of the center's success story.

Last year, physicians and Center staff participated in the Challenge as well "It was more of a work-social thing for me," said Linda Walton, a Center for Breast Care nurse navigator. While Walton's responsibilities of helping patients travel through the daunting ordeal of dealing with breast cancer is understandably stressful, she indicated taking the challenge was an enormous release. "It was a great opportunity for me," said Walton. "My team would meet every day and walk around the hospital campus. I had gotten out of practice so this got me back into practice."

Jennifer Lundeen, a wellness coach with the CMH KeepWell Center, led the Challenge and the race. "Almost everyone who signed up for the Challenge completed the race," Lundeen said. "We thought we'd have about 100 participants. We wound up having more than 300 people, lots of breast cancer survivors and supporters. It was really nice to see that kind of support for the survivors. It wasn't really about the prizes or how fast you can go. We're hoping to recreate that."

While Robinson confessed she has strayed a bit from the regimen preached to her during last year's challenge, the experience was still highly beneficial. "I'll be better prepared this year," Anita proclaimed confidently, adding that she will participate in both the challenge and the race.

While she has no idea about what her time was in last year's 5K, Robinson, who blended running and walking as she traversed the course, has made sure she does not run/walk alone.
"I'm trying to get more of the ladies within my department to participate this year," said Robinson. "My daughter is also going to participate."

"This has been wonderful," said Walton of the fundraising aspect of the 5K. The Center for Breast Care at CMH is always in need of funds to wage war with a sometimes devastating foe. "Especially in today's economy and there are so many of the patients' needs that aren't covered by health insurance," said Walton.

Anyone wishing to participate in the pre-race challenge should call 410-535-8233 or stop by the CMH KeepWell Center to register. The fee is $15 and the pre-race kit includes shirt, backpack and 12-week guide to getting in shape.

Those who sign up for the 5K before Sept. 28 pay the "Early Bird" race fee--$25 for adults, $15 for children 10 and older. The fee on race day is $40 for adults and $25 for children 10 and older.  Early Bird registrants and the first 100 people who show up the day of the race will get a race t-shirt. Contributions to the race and the Center for Breast Care are tax deductible as applicable by law.

To obtain more information about the Second annual CMH Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk call 410-535-8233 or visit


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