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2010
Hospital kicks off 5K Breast Cancer Challenge (May 19, 2010)

Prince Frederick, MD (May 19, 2010) – Dozens of Calvert Memorial Hospital employees wearing bright pink T-shirts and shoelaces turned out on National Employee Health and Fitness Day to launch the official kick-off of the CMH 5K Breast Cancer Challenge - a public awareness campaign to help families get fit and healthy while raising funds for the Center for Breast Care at CMH.

The breast center, which opened in January, brings together a team of breast health experts - including breast radiologists from Johns Hopkins, with an experienced navigator, backed by the latest technology in one convenient location. It offers Southern Maryland women the same level of care they would find in a major metropolitan area right here in our local community.

World Gym fitness trainer James Sutton led the enthusiastic group in a series of stretches and warm-up exercises in front of the Calvert Medical Arts Center, home to the hospital's new breast center, before they took off for a one-mile lap around the Prince Frederick campus. World Gym Fitness Centers along with Calvert Medical Imaging Center (CMIC) and the Brandon Greening Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness have partnered with the hospital to sponsor the challenge.

Some 140 men, women and children ages seven to 82 have already signed up to take the 12-week challenge that will continue throughout the summer and wrap up with a 5K run/walk on Oct. 2 in Solomons. The challenge is open to everyone - local organizations, businesses, families and individuals. It's free to sign up for the challenge. To register, call the hospital's KeepWell Center at 410-535-8233 or 301-855-1012, ext. 8233. Participants get a free step-by-step guide to good health plus weekly email reminders to keep them on track.

"You cannot control some things that put you at risk for breast cancer, such as your age and being female," said Margaret Fowler, director of community wellness at CMH, "but there are changes you can make like - exercising more, eating healthier and getting screenings - that lower your risk for many chronic diseases." She said the challenge is all about helping local families make healthier choices that lead to healthier lifestyles.

About 80 hospital employees have already taken the challenge to get involved. Radiology nurse Dawn Graves signed up with her daughters, 15-year-old Talia and 13-year-old Tyler. "I think it's a good opportunity for me to educate my daughters about participating in a bigger cause like our breast center that is so worthwhile," said Graves. "They were very excited to get their pink T-shirts and shoelaces to show their support."

Participants who donate $5 to the Center for Breast Care when they sign up for the challenge get pink shoelaces. A $10 donation entitles you to a 5K Challenge T-shirt. Donations are tax-deductible as applicable by law.

Breast cancer survivor Rosie Hutchins said, "I'm walking for myself and anyone else who has to go through this (breast cancer)." The 56-year-old grandmother has worked in environmental services at CMH for 13 years. "I'm a strong believer in early detection," she said. " I tell everyone that is why I'm still here today."

Human resources specialist Barbara LaPorte signed up with her 16-year-old daughter Kayla. "I think the challenge will be a fun activity that we can do together," she said. "We joined the World Gym in January and this will help us stay motivated on our journey to be healthier."

Surgical nurse Colleen Damalouji signed up with her 16-year-old daughter Kelsey. "With both my best friend and my sister-in-law going through treatment for breast cancer," she said, "this has become a much more real issue for me."

"I also wanted to show my support for our breast center and the advances it's bringing to our community," said Damalouji. "At the same time, it has encouraged us to be a little more physically active." She is now running regularly with her daughter.

In addition to the free wellness guide, participants can visit the hospital's website at www.calverthospital.org and click on breast cancer 5K challenge to find nutritious recipes, exercise video clips and more details.

The 12-week challenge culminates with a 5K run/walk on Oct. 2. The hospital plans to host a health and wellness expo with free head-to-toe screenings as part of the event. Challenge participants get a $10 discount on the registration fee for the Oct. 2 run/walk.

Breast Cancer Challenge
Dozens of Calvert Memorial employees wearing bright pink T-shirts and shoelaces turned out on National Employee Health and Fitness Day to launch the official kick-off of the CMH 5K Breast Cancer Challenge. They're pictured here in front of the Calvert Medical Arts Center, home to the hospital's new breast center.

Breast Cancer Challenge
World Gym fitness trainer James Sutton led an enthusiastic group of Calvert Memorial employees in a series of exercises in front of the Calvert Medical Arts Center, home to the hospital's new breast center. World Gym Fitness Centers along with Calvert Medical Imaging Center (CMIC) and the Brandon Greening Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness have partnered with the hospital to sponsor the CMH 5K Breast Cancer Challenge.

Breast Cancer Challenge
Calvert Memorial employees take off for a one-mile lap around the Prince Frederick campus to kick off the CMH 5K Breast Cancer Challenge – a public awareness campaign to help families get fit and healthy while raising funds for the Center for Breast Care at CMH.

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