By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure grabs all of the headlines, as tens of thousands help to raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research. A small group of older breast cancer survivors are happy to take a back seat with their neighborhood walk through Port Richmond the Sunday after Mother’s Day.
The walk up Allegheny Avenue is organized by the Ladies of Port Richmond. President Mary Louise Leuters beat the disease twice.
“I’m a survivor since 1990,” Leuters says, “A two-time survivor.”
She says the walk was started nine years ago because some of the women didn’t want to have to deal with the controlled chaos at the Komen event.
“We do the walk here because a lot of people don’t go downtown or want to be bothered going downtown for the other walk,” Leuters says. “We figured let’s have one here and for eight years I think we did very well, giving a lot of money.”
In fact, she and the Ladies of Port Richmond have raised about $500,000 — and all of it goes directly to research at local hospitals.
Holly Thrash is among the survivors who took part in the walk.
“I’m a girl scout leader for my daughter,” Thrash says. “My troop comes every year. We participate every year in raising money, passing out pamphlets to women in the neighborhood.”
She says it’s important for the girls to experience this because they could be future patients or doctors.
The group also receives the support of several neighborhood businesses, including the Aramingo Avenue Shop Rite, something the women say they’re very thankful for.
“It’s unbelievable, these people in Port Richmond,” Leuters says. “They sponsor us and they do help us.”
And they also raise money throughout the year with bake sales.