Thousands support finding a cure
Published: January 22, 2006 | 3343rd good news item since 2003
When Christine Denahan stood proudly among the breast cancer survivors at Saturday’s Race for the Cure, something bothered her.
Denahan, 33, saw there weren’t many her age who were celebrating their survival of the disease.
“When I was on stage, I noticed there was not enough young women up there,” Denahan said. “The current standards are to have your first mammogram when you are 40. It’s important to have it done sooner. Early detection is what can save you. It saved me.”
Denahan, of Boynton Beach, had the best finish of breast cancer survivors in the women’s 5K race with a time of 23 minutes, 55 seconds.
The best overall time was by another runner who also could have looked around and seen many women older than she was.
Ashley Brasovan, 15, of Wellington, posted a winning time of 17:48, finishing ahead of North Palm Beach’s Linda Neary-Robb, 41, who ran the Flagler Drive course in 18:04.
Brasovan, a freshman at Wellington High who won a 6A state cross-country title, doesn’t know any breast cancer survivors, but understood the significance of the race.
“I just did it for the cause,” Brasovan said.
Brasovan won the 14-and-under division at last year’s Race for the Cure with a time of 19:00.
“Last year, I ran with a fever,” Brasovan said. “I haven’t been competitively running lately. It’s sort of between seasons for me and I was just using it to get ready for track, because I’ll probably be doing the mile and 2-mile.”
This year, a healthy Brasovan had an easy time topping the women’s field of 1,925 runners.
The men’s 5K race had 1,215 participants and was won by Boynton Beach’s Ryan White in 16:22.
Two years ago, Denahan saw her doctor about possible cosmetic surgery, which required a mammogram.
The exam showed she had breast cancer. Denahan had surgery and began hormone therapy.
“If I had not gone in and had that done, I never would have known,” Denahan said. “Women in their 20s and 30s shouldn’t wait to have a mammogram.”
After being declared cancer-free, she entered the Race for the Cure for the first time last year.
“I really just wanted to beat 24 minutes, and I knew I had a shot when I made the turn and didn’t see many people in pink,” Denahan said, referring to the pink bibs used to designate competitors who are cancer survivors.
Denahan, who also participates in triathlons, was active before she was treated for cancer, but she said that, since beating the disease participating in sports has taken on a new meaning.
“It’s different when you are a survivor,” Denahan said. “You just can never let it get you down. It’s my new attitude.”