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10TV: OhioHealth nurse navigator remembers first Komen Columbus Race for the Cure®

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure®. What is currently the largest Race for the Cure in the United States started off with just a few thousand participants back in September, 1993.

One of those participants was Linda May. Linda is a breast nurse navigator at the OhioHealth Bing Cancer Center. But she’s also a breast cancer survivor, being diagnosed with Stage 2 invasive lobular breast cancer in 1992 at age 33.

“I can really empathize with how they’re feeling when they get their diagnosis,” May told 10TV health reporter Tracy Townsend.

“She lived it, she’s a survivor, she’s gone on to live her life in a complete way,” said Pat Boury, a nurse navigator at the Bing Cancer Center and one of May’s colleagues.

When asked about that first Race for the Cure, May recalls some similarities and differences to the race we see today.

“It was really just a handful of people then,” said May. “But it was still amazing. They still had the (survivor) ceremony and someone had written a song and we sang that song and everybody was very emotional.”

May is now taking all of her t-shirts from past races (she says she has only missed three in 25 years) and making them into a quilt to symbolize her survivorship and hope for others.

“I didn’t let the cancer define me,” May told Townsend. “It gives you courage, it gives you strength.”

May received her treatment at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. One of her nurses was Pat Boury, who, years later encouraged May to come work with her at the Bing Cancer Center as a nurse navigator.

This year’s Komen Columbus Race for the Cure® takes place on Saturday, May 20. Click here to register.  

To learn more about the breast cancer care program at OhioHealth, click here.