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Survivor Racing For the Cure

There are nearly 5,000 people registered for Saturday's 15th annual Race For the Cure in downtown Lexington.

One of those signed up to run is a young Central Kentucky woman who will soon celebrate her seventh year being cancer free and she will also be looking to finish first among survivors for the third year in a row.

Lacing up and hitting the pavement isn't something Mandie Graham always enjoyed doing, in fact she hated it.

"I was timekeeper I was never a runner. When we had field day in middle school I was like in the sack race and the long throw, I was never a runner," said Mandie Graham.

But now it's something she is passionate about, winning two Race For the Cure 5k's in Lexington back to back as a survivor.

"I said you know I think I'm just going to run, just going to do it, its for kicks, I'm just going to do it."

Breast cancer brought Mandie to the race, she took up running after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, she was only 28.

She found a lump herself by chance and would soon hear the words no woman wants to hear.

"It was November 11th, the day she called me back and said it is cancerous."

Mandie would have a lumpectomy and 33 radiation treatments.

Cancer to her was just an experience, not what was going to define her.

"I wasn't really upset because I knew this was happening for a reason, God had put me in this position for a reason. I don't know if it was nothing more than to share my story like I am today."

Now this mother and wife is focused on bringing awareness, she proudly wears pink something she used to hate and she runs in support of others.

"For the past couple of years I've been running a lot more and training, lifting weights and in general just trying to eat better."

Her first win in the Race For the Cure as a survivor came as a surprise two years ago and she was hooked, her goal this year, to complete what she calls the triple crown.

Next month Mandie will leave for Phoenix where she will compete in the Three Day For the Cure, a 60 mile walk.

On the first day of the race she will celebrate her seventh year being cancer free and turn in $5,000 to Susan G. Komen.

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