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Race for the Cure silent auction slated

"POULSBO - Last year Linda Francalangia missed the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure because something else came up. This year she will go as a breast cancer survivor. By the time the Sept. 23 event comes to pass, she will have completed her treatment. I'm going to beat this thing, she says as she puts away the visors Poulsbo Athletic Club team members will wear in her honor as they pound their heels on Seattle pavement. The foam rubber visors are done in animal prints-tiger, leopard and giraffe-for the self described sometimes wild and silly woman they'll be worn for. Francalangia was diagnosed in April and said she wasn't good about performing regular examinations. But when she noticed a lump that was different from anything she had felt she contacted the doctor immediately. The next day she found out the diagnosis and by the end of the week she had the first of two surgeries to remove the cancer. It's pretty scary, she said about having cancer. It's all consuming. I continued to work full time to escape my thoughts, she said. Francalangia is a esthetician at the Poulsbo Athletic Club. She said she was fortunate that the cancer was in its earliest stages and urges all women to get examined regularly. Now the 46-year old is busy organizing the Poulsbo Athletic Club team of runners and walkers who will join the larger Town & Country Team this year. The Town & Country team hopes to accrue 1,002 members to be the largest team in this year's Race for the Cure event and the largest team ever. Last year the team had about 635 members and raised the second largest amount of donations said Town & Country team co-captain Lilly Melendez. We're making a statement.We're a small town with a big heart, Melendez said. Poulsbo cares. The community of Poulsbo is united in finding a cure. We don't want to see any more of our people affected by it. If we all come together we're going to do something really terrific, she said. To register for Team Town & Country sign up by Aug. 25 at Poulsbo Thriftway Market, Town & Country Market or the athletic club at any time. Sign ups will also be done at Central Market 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 18-19 and Sept. 8-9. The entry fee is $20. Team members must wear their T-shirts to get on the bus that will go to the event. Bus service will go from North Kitsap High School to the Bainbridge ferry terminal between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Fundraising events are also underway as Poulsbo becomes Pretty in Pink. Area businesses including Central Market, Thriftway Market Poulsbo, shops downtown and Poulsbo Athletic Club will have pink cards to to purchase in honor or in memory of a loved one who fought the disease. For a donation, the cards will be displayed at that business. On Aug. 18 the athletic club is sponsoring a silent auction to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. For people who have never been to the event, Melendez said It was like the peak of perfection. I've never seen or felt so much emotion. Every breast cancer survivor is given a pink hat and pink T-shirt to wear and they are honored at the event. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house, Melendez said. There were people in wheelchairs with oxygen, their families pushing them. They were still fighting. Team Town & Country was formed in 1994 inspired by Ellen Nakata's fight against breast cancer. The 2000 Race for the Cure raised $1.3 million with 75 percent of that staying in the Puget Sound region. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in memory of her Sister Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. The foundation is the nation's largest private funder of breast cancer research. "

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