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Third annual Teal There's a Cure run looks to surpass last year's mark

The third annual Teal There's A Cure run/walk for ovarian cancer awareness is slated for July 4 in the village of Marcellus. To date, the race committee has given $9,000 to Grace's Garden of Central New York, $7,800 to the American Cancer Society (designated for ovarian cancer) and $11,500 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, for a total of $28,300.

"We are very grateful for everyone's support," said Kevin O'Hara, of Marcellus, whose family organizes the event.

Raising awareness for ovarian cancer hits close to home for O'Hara: one of his six sisters was diagnosed at stage three of the illness three years ago, which inspired him and his family to start the race. O'Hara said his sister is still battling the disease.

"This disease usually goes untreated until women are in stage three or four, so we are trying to make women more aware of the symptoms," he said.

According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States. Approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed annually and approximately 15,000 women will die annually of this disease.

Unfortunately, the majority of women are not diagnosed until the late stages and at that point their survival is as low as 29 percent. At present there is no test to specifically screen women for ovarian cancer. With this in mind, the Teal There's A Cure race committee wants women to become more educated about this disease.

O'Hara said the race has grown every year, starting with 300 in its first year and improving to 400 the next.

"This year we are hoping to have even more," he said.

The 5K course begins and ends in Marcellus Park and takes participants up Limerick Street and back down Main Street - this much hasn't changed. But for the first time, the race will be certified, which means runners will be able enter their Teal There's A Cure times for other races.

"Once the race is certified, I think we'll get more serious runners," O'Hara said.

Also new this year, race participants can set up individual web-based fundraising sites when they register online. Users can personalize their site, set fundraising goals and email friends and family with a direct link.

The race begins at 9 a.m. at Platt Road near the upper entrance to the park. Register online at gracesgarden.org/5K.html. The registration fee is $20 by June 23, or $30 thereafter.

To volunteer, call Kevin O'Hara at 440-1041 or email tealtheresacure@gmail.com.

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