Race for the Cure Steps Off in Scranton

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SCRANTON -- The 23rd annual NEPA Race for the Cure took place Saturday morning in downtown Scranton.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is an event that quickly transforms the city into a place filled with pink, worn by nearly 9,000 people determined to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

Some came here for the race. Others came to lend a hand.

"It just touches my heart," said Eileen Boutin of Scranton. "I just finished my treatments for ovarian cancer, so I thought, 'I'm not in shape to run the five miles this year, but I can come out and volunteer.'"

And, around every corner on Courthouse Square, so many stories of survival, including Kaleena Dughi's from Rome in Bradford County.

"What I've gone through has been the most amazing journey. I've learned a lot about myself and my friends. I can't even talk. They've been amazing," Dughi told Newswatch 16.

The 5K itself marked its 23rd year in the Electric City.

Organizers say the race involved more than 4,000 participants, each out here for a different reason.

One man said, "My wife and I are running for our pastor from the Green Ridge Assembly of God Church."

Others ran for relatives or close friends.

And, thanks to all of those who attended, the event raised more than $275,000.

Dolly Woody of NEPA Race for the Cure said, "75 percent of all the proceeds that we receive remain right here in northeastern Pennsylvania to fund education, screening and treatment grants for underserved and uninsured women and men throughout northeastern Pennsylvania, while 25 percent funds national research."

It's that research that's leading to new treatments for women and men in our area, including Willard MacLearly Jr. of Honesdale who is fighting his third battle against breast cancer.

"I know, especially this year, with all of the different kinds of chemotherapies I've been on, how important research is. Every one of them was a new one," MacLeary said.