Survivor Moms Band Together
Jodi Brown and Angie Abel were both diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, but that’s not all they have in common.
Says Abel, “We are both married with two sons, live in Canal Winchester and share the same birthday.” Both women were also successfully treated at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James)—Abel with a bi-lateral mastectomy, reconstruction and chemotherapy, and Brown with a bi-lateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and Herceptin.
Now, after bonding over their shared experiences, they also share a passion for raising funds to help find a cure for breast cancer. In 2012, the two self-described “survivor moms” founded the Courage, Conquer & Cure 5K, which has raised over $100,000 to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the OSUCCC – James.
The race—now a part of the James 5K Race Series that includes five annual running events—takes place in the Columbus suburb of Canal Winchester. The most recent event, held Oct. 3, brought together 636 runners and walkers of all levels who seek to eradicate breast cancer. Tracy Townsend of WBNS-10TV served as this year’s emcee, as she has the past two years. Athletes and guests enjoyed local magician and comedian David McCreary and the sounds of musical entertainer Bad Influence. Canal Winchester Mayor Mike Ebert was also on hand to cheer on race participants and welcome them to his historic town.
Since the inaugural Courage, Conquer & Cure, the event has acknowledged a “survivor mom” who battles breast cancer through an award named for Janet Downs, the 2012 honoree who passed on in January 2013, leaving a husband and two young sons. The award is an important part of the race’s mission, says Abel.
“It is the goal of Courage, Conquer & Cure not only to raise funds for breast cancer, but to inspire breast cancer survivors to thrive during their treatments and to treasure every moment in life,” she says. “Jodi and I look forward to one day celebrating a cure for breast cancer, and we love that 100 percent of the funds donated from Courage, Conquer & Cure to the Spielman Fund go directly toward breast cancer research. Our ongoing survivorship keeps us motivated each year to continue our hard work toward this mission.”