8 years and counting, Panerathon still raising money to help fight breast cancer

To date, the Panerathon has raised $1.6 million for The Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center

2016 Panerathon
2016 Panerathon

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s time again for the annual Panerathon, and this year it’s being held on Sunday, Aug. 27 at the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown.

Anyone can join in on what is known as the largest fundraising event in the Valley. It begins at 10 a.m.

Thousands of people are expected to attend this year, whether they are running the 10K, 2-mile or kids race, or spectating to show their support.

Last year, $360,000 was raised for the Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley in support of The Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown. To date, the Panerathon has raised $1.6 million.

If you sign up before Sunday, you will get a discount and a dry-fit shirt.

“Your dollar does count. Every dollar goes directly toward the cause and it’s helping the women of the Valley,” said Ashlee Mauti, director of marketing for Covelli Enterprises.

The breast care center offers services to women who are fighting breast cancer, it’s the first comprehensive breast care center in the Youngstown area.

It has state of the art technology to offer accurate prevention, early detection, diagnosis and support services to these women.

Money from participants and sponsors also goes toward buying more technology for the breast care center, like a mobile mammography unit.

“We call it ‘Joanie on the Go.’ It’s basically taking what we have in the center in terms of technology with our 3D mammography unit and putting it on the road. We are able to service a three-county area, so it goes to Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana County, and in part it was made possible through Panerathon,” said Candace Madden with the Mercy Health Foundation.

The center makes sure that any woman, regardless of her ability to pay, has access not only to the center but to the mobile unit.

Part of the proceeds also go toward a fund called “Joanie’s Promise,” which provides funding for these women.

One Canfield woman has ran in every Panerathon in Youngstown to support those who are fighting breast cancer. But last year, Karen Pavlansky found out she was one of those women.

Still, she doesn’t let her diagnosis stop her from putting on her running shoes. Pavlansky was six months into treatment when she ran in last year’s race.

“To be out there and knowing that those runners and the community come out there to support us — it was pretty exciting and emotional to be a part of that,” she said.

Even though Pavlansky was battling breast cancer, she went out to just have fun. She says having a positive attitude really makes a difference.

“Because you can beat it and there’s things you can do. By getting those screenings, coming here and getting your dexa scan and doing those preventive things,” Pavlansky said.

The breast care center helped her through a tough battle.

“They’re very positive here, it’s a top-notch facility. They’re able to support you with whatever your needs may be, having the technology to pinpoint exactly what’s going on with you. It’s very reassuring coming in here,” Pavlansky said.

She also said being proactive by paying attention to diet and exercise helped a lot, and is now one year cancer free.

Last year, Pavlansky ran in the 2-mile race, this year she will be running in the 10K.

For more information about Panerathon, like how to register or details of the races, visit the Panerathon website.