Thousands turn out for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Quintana Lackey has participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure every year since it began.
Lackey, 47, who lives in Nashville but grew up in Chattanooga, and her family have gathered in Chattanooga for 12 years to honor her mother, Shirley Bowman, who died of breast cancer in 2001. Bowman organized her family to participate in the first walk in 2000.
"This is something she started, and we want to continue it," Lackey said. "I think she's smiling down on us and is happy that we do it every year. I'm hoping that if I'm gone, my nieces will carry it on, too."
The Race for the Cure began in Chattanooga in 2000, according to Sarah Bowen, president of the local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The chapter serves 16 counties in the greater Chattanooga area. Komen Chattanooga gives 75 percent of its earnings to local breast health programs such as the MaryEllen Locher Foundation scholarships, a mobile mammogram van and education for organizations such as Girls Inc.
Lackey's best friend, Jo Ellen Martin, 46, also has participated in the race for years. Martin was diagnosed with stomach and colon cancer in July and is halfway through her chemotherapy treatment.
"I think it's important to come show your support for the survivors, the ones who are going through treatment and the ones who we lost," she said. "I always participate, but especially now. Cancer is cancer."
This year, about 6,800 participants and 500 volunteers took part in the race, which had 5K and 1-mile courses. Runners and walkers started and finished at McKenzie Arena at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Read More. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)