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Mount Airy’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk back in person this Sunday

Kathy Foy, of Severna Park, Pat Miller of Arbutus and Sharon Schwartz, of Sykesville, walk together at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Watkins Park in Mt. Airy on Sunday, October 21, 2018. The event is to raise awareness and funds for research and support for those with breast cancer.
Kathy Foy, of Severna Park, Pat Miller of Arbutus and Sharon Schwartz, of Sykesville, walk together at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Watkins Park in Mt. Airy on Sunday, October 21, 2018. The event is to raise awareness and funds for research and support for those with breast cancer. (Alan White/For Carroll County Ti/Carroll County Times)

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk is returning in person to Mount Airy this weekend with the goal of uniting the community in the fight to end breast cancer.

The event, being held at Watkins Park in Mount Airy this Sunday at 10 a.m., marks the 11th year of the event in Central Maryland.

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Making Strides has worked with organizations across the country for more than two decades to fund breakthrough research and provide 24/7 support to breast cancer patients and access to lifetime screenings.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women and is the second leading cause of death among women after lung cancer, according to a news release. This year, more than 280,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed, and about 43,000 women will die from the disease. In Maryland, approximately 5,470 women will be diagnosed, and 860 women will die of the disease this year.

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Funds raised through the Making Strides movement allow the American Cancer Society to serve breast cancer patients and their families — even during a pandemic.

ACS-funded researchers are still in the lab seeking breakthrough treatments and running clinical trials. As of Aug. 1, ACS funded 153 multiyear extramural breast cancer research grants, an investment of $71 million.

Laurie Frey, development manager for the northeast region of the American Cancer Society, said this event “is so special this year for a number of reasons.”

For one, people are able to gather together again in-person following a shift to a drive-thru event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Although that was a wonderful alternative and allowed us to still recognize and cheer our survivors in a fun way, it’s just not the same as being able to gather together,” she said.

The group is also within reach of hitting $1 million in cumulative fundraising since the start of this event in 2011.

“Strides this year will also be bittersweet,” Frey said, as it will be the first year former Mount Airy Mayor Pat Rockinberg will not be the emcee.

Rockinberg died at the end of August after his own battle with cancer.

“We will certainly be honoring his memory, and are most grateful to Jason Poirier, acting mayor, for stepping in to fill that void,” Frey noted.

For breast cancer survivors and their caregivers, the walk is an opportunity to see that they are not fighting alone.

“Coming off of an unprecedented last year, we are excited to have nearly 250 walkers registered and with the current forecast for a beautiful morning, we anticipate having many walk-up registrants as well,” she said.

Guests can come expecting music, dancing and the sharing of inspiring stories.

This event will be inn accordance with federal, state, and local health guidance and regulations regarding COVID-19 precautions. Masking will be encouraged for anyone who is unvaccinated and mandatory at the Survivor tent for the safety of the most at-risk walkers.

Those who are interested in participating can register online at makingstrideswalk.org. The walk is free, but donations are encouraged.

Also honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Carroll Hospital is hosting a Pink Fling Drive-Thru Celebration on Oct. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the EST Pavilion Lot located at 291 Stoner Avenue in Westminster.

Breast cancer survivors will be able to drive through the lot to pick up their pre-purchased Pink Elephant grab bag and silent auction items.

This event is being held as part of the Carroll Hospital Foundation’s 21st annual Pink Fling presented by Advanced Radiology. All proceeds benefit the Center for Breast Health at Carroll Hospital.

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