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Race for the Cure draws 25,000 to Oakland

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Sunday, May 11, 2014, 3:06 p.m.

Candice Manspeaker penned a note to her late mother on Sunday that she hopes will bolster the spirits of people suffering from breast cancer.

“Judy Adams I love you,” Manspeaker, 43, of West Mifflin wrote on a pink swatch of fabric that will be sewn into a quilt for cancer survivors.

Adams, 63, of Duquesne died of breast cancer in 2009. Every year on Mother's Day, her family participates in the Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure, which raises money for cancer research, detection and treatment.

“I miss her so much,” Manspeaker said. “Every chance I get, I say, ‘I love you.' ”

About 25,000 people converged on Schenley Park in the morning for the annual 5K walk and run that has generated $36 million since it began in 1993. Organizers expect the 2014 race in Oakland to raise at least $1 million.

“Our numbers are pretty steady with where they were last year,” said Komen Pittsburgh CEO Kathy Purcell.

Manspeaker was among hundreds who lined up to ink messages on 4-by-4-inch pieces of cloth provided by Ford dealers through the Warrior Quilt Project. The Neighborhood Ford Store is an association of 81 dealers in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and the Maryland and West Virginia panhandles. Quilts stitched by volunteers are distributed to hospitals and cancer centers in the region.

Kathy Wagler, owner of Crivelli Ford in Hopewell, and Liz Dwyer, 48, of Wexford, Ford's regional sales manager in Pittsburgh — breast cancer survivors — rode in the race pace car, a 2014 Mustang supplied by Crivelli.

“When you go through this, it becomes personal,” said Wagler, 62, of Moon.

“You don't want to go through that alone. When you look around here and you see all these people who support this, it's just wonderful.”

Mike Petrassek, 62, of Franklin Park walked the race wearing pink knee socks and his two index fingernails painted pink. The Petrassek family, 25 members strong, participated in honor of Grace Meny of Crafton Heights, Petrassek's mother-in-law, who died of breast cancer in 2009.

All wore pink T-shirts with “Amazing Grace” printed on the front.

“We make a family event of it,” Petrassek said.

“After, we gather at somebody's house for brunch.”

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or




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