60 riders saddle up for Ride the Trail to a Cure in support of breast cancer awareness

September 24, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Linda Golden of Greencastle, Pa., organizer of Ride the Trail to a Cure and a cancer survivor, and her daughter Kerry Golden, who was riding Lucky, were among those who participated in Saturday's event at Michaux State Forest near Penn State Mont Alto.
By Roxann Miller

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Last month, Kelly Conboy of Frederick, Md., heard the words: "You have breast cancer."

On Saturday, three of Conboy's riding friends and more than 60 others saddled up for Ride the Trail to a Cure, an 8 1/2-mile horse ride through Michaux State Forest near Penn State Mont Alto.

Conboy is scheduled to have surgery Oct. 7. Her friends Diane Puddy-Crowe of Mercersburg, Pa., and Winnie Puddy-Pryor and Phyllis Kline, both of Smithsburg, rode in her honor.

"It's a blessing that my friends are here with me," Conboy said. "It just makes me feel like I have something to fight for. Besides my kids, I have friends who love me."

This was the sixth year for the ride, which is hosted by the Grey Mare Society. Money raised from the event benefits Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley and the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in their efforts to fight the disease.

"I hear they are very close (to a cure)," Puddy-Crowe said. "I think they can do it."

Linda Golden of Greencastle, Pa., event organizer and a cancer survivor, knows how Conboy feels. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 after a routine mammogram, and has been leading the charge in promoting mammograms and breast self-examinations.

Golden estimated that Saturday's ride would raise about $10,000 from donations and a silent auction. Over the past six years, the event has raised more than $90,000, she said.

Sandi Kyner of Mercersburg, Pa., also attended Saturday's ride.

Kyner's granddaughter Ashlynn Roppolo, 11, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 11 months old.

"Everything that has to do with cancer, we try to support it," Kyner said.

Ashlynn, who is a sixth-grader at James Buchanan Middle School, has been cancer-free for eight years.

"I know we're making a difference," Kyner said. "When she was diagnosed with leukemia and relapsed, she was given a 5 percent chance of survival. If she got it today, because of the research they have done in cancer, the survival rate is 90 percent."

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