Healthwatch 16: Race For The Cure Set for Saturday in Scranton

SCRANTON -- The Komen Northeastern Pennsylvania Race for the Cure is Saturday morning in downtown Scranton.

Thousands of walkers, runners, and spectators will put on their pink and gather around Courthouse Square, raising money for breast cancer research.

There's a lot of talk about finding a cure, but this week several breast cancer survivors reminded us they'll be forever fighting the disease.

The Race for the Cure in Scranton is put on each year by the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

It's a time to remember those who have died, and to support and cheer on those who fight breast cancer.

Lisa Kutra of Moscow and Suzanne O'Hara from Wyoming have both taken advantage of resources that Komen has to offer. What they wanted to bring some attention to is the very word cure.

"I always knew there was a chance it may return, but I certainly didn't think it would be so soon," said O'Hara.

Suzanne's dermatologist found a skin discoloration on her breast in January of 2012. It was cancer and eight cycles of chemotherapy and 42 radiation treatments later, Suzanne was in remission.

But just four years later, the cancer was back and had spread to her liver.

Her story is similar to that of her friend Lisa, who in 2012 went through eight rounds of chemo and 35 radiation treatments to beat early-stage breast cancer.

She was cancer free and felt so good she trained for and ran the New York City Marathon last year.

"I was deep in training, working out and running a lot, and I started to have a pain in my shoulder," Kutra recalled. "I ended up being diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer."

Lisa and Suzanne are what Komen calls forever fighters, women who want people to know that while a cure is possible, it's also possible that cancer will come back, and even more importantly, it's possible to live well through it all.

They would like to see money and awareness for research of not just early-stage, but late-stage cancers as well. And they're not afraid of statistics.

"I feel very confident with the help of my family, friends, and coworkers that I will survive this. I don't have a doubt in my mind," said O'Hara.

"I still work out, I still run, I still work, I live my normal life, take care of my kids and I'm happy. I feel good and I'm thankful to God for that every single day," Kutra added.

They're so passionate about the topic, they're part of planning a symposium called "Breast Cancer and Beyond" next spring in Scranton.

It's still in the early stages, but when they have more details we will pass them along to you.

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The race starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.  Race day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. if you want to join in.

The race starts on Wyoming Avenue, then into Green Ridge, and finishes along North Washington Avenue in downtown Scranton.

 

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