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PLYMOUTH â€” Sisters Jessica Oliver and Jennifer Houin have lost track of just how many volunteers have stepped up to help with the Ounce of Prevention Breast Cancer Ta Ta Trot walk-run.
The second annual event was held Saturday beginning on the grounds of Oliver Ford in Plymouth with more than 200 runners/walkers participating.
Houin said, â€śThe ultimate best thing of this is the beautiful volunteers who come out to help Jessica and me every year.â€ť
Oliver said people man water stops, prepare handouts, register participants, and â€śanything else you can think of that needs to be done.â€ť
Proceeds from the event are used to benefit the Nancy Jaynes Memorial Scholarship fund. Before her death, Jaynes was a much loved teacher at Plymouth High School and championed the cause to make people aware of the need to raise funds for breast cancer research. Jaynes was responsible for state approval of the breast cancer awareness license plate.
Houin also reported that 30 women who couldnâ€™t otherwise afford mammograms were generously helped with a $3,200 donation to the St. Joseph Health Center.
Reining over this yearâ€™s event was 2010 Queen Patti Bates and newly crowned 2011 Queen Billie Kimble. Kimble has overcome three bouts of cancer including breast cancer, melanoma, and lymphoma. She endured chemotherapy and radiation and has finally been given the word by her doctors that she is cancer free.
In 1989, doctors noticed a mole on the bottom of her foot that was then diagnosed as melanoma, commonly known as skin cancer. Ten years later, a routine mammogram showed a suspicious area that turned out to be breast cancer. After three months of treatments, Kimble thought she was home free.
But in 2003, she noticed a lump at the side of her upper leg. The biopsy of the area showed lymphoma or cancer of the lymph nodes. Treatments were brutal; however, she now has a 100 percent cancer free bill of health.
Kimble insisted that she was not worthy of being named queen, but the organizers and her family felt there was not a better person to receive the honor.
The gracious Kimble gives credit to her husband Roger. She said, â€śHe gives me the strength to handle anything that gets tossed in my way.â€ť
Kimble officially opened the beginning of the race with a shot gun start.
Members of the Kosciusko County Runners Association were on hand to set up a timing chip system for the participants. Bill Crane and his wife Mary who head up the equipment system now have a more personal reason for helping raise awareness and funding. Crane was diagnosed with leukemia and has undergone one chemotherapy treatment so far. Crane said, â€śWe use this platform to help promote a healthier life style and to help charities raise the mush needed funds.â€ť
Crossing the finish line first were runners Jacob Palmer and Calvin Cook. Palmer clocked in at 16:35 followed by Cook who was a mere five seconds behind with a 16:40.