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Racing for a cure

Co-chairman of Peoria’s 25th annual Race for the Cure Eric Brinker ’98 with honorary chair President Joanne Glasser after a Komen press conference on September 30.

Bradley President Joanne K. Glasser has been named honorary chair of next year’s 25th annual Race for the Cure in Peoria. Sponsored by the Peoria Memorial Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Race will kick off at 8 a.m. on May 8, 2010.

Glasser became Bradley’s tenth president in August 2007 and was diagnosed with breast cancer early last fall. “I didn’t believe the doctor when he gave me the diagnosis. I asked him to check again,” Glasser said, adding that she had been feeling fine and had no family history. “After the reality set in, I was committed to beating this cancer, just like millions of others have. I went public to show this disease can strike anyone at any time,” she explained at a Komen press conference on September 30.

Following surgery, she underwent a series of radiation treatments while continuing her duties at Bradley last winter. The president participated in the 2009 Race with almost 200 walkers and runners from Bradley, the largest team registered for the event. University organizers expect to have an even larger team in 2010. “I was overwhelmed to see all the participants, particularly the survivors in pink,” she said. “I’m looking forward to walking in solidarity and friendship with Team Bradley again.”

The co-chairman of Peoria’s 25th annual Race is Eric Brinker ’98, nephew of Susan Komen. His mother, Nancy Goodman Brinker, began the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1983 in honor of her late sister. Now a global effort, more than 1 million people are expected to participate in Komen Races next year. The Foundation funds research, and offers testing, support groups, and education.

According to Brinker, Peoria County’s breast cancer rate is higher than the rate in Cook County. “Our focus is going to be on fundraising. We need people to register as teams,” he announced. Race registration will begin on January 1, months earlier than the usual schedule. The Peoria Affiliate hopes to raise enough money to fulfill 100 percent of its grant requests.

“I am very much looking forward to Race Day and to helping the Komen Foundation this entire year. I was thrilled to be asked to be the honorary chair of Peoria’s 25th annual Race. It is a great honor for me,” said Glasser.

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