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Racing for a cure

San Antonio faculty, staff, students team up to fight breast cancer

Race for the Cure Team

Among the almost 29,000 swathed in shades of pink and white who participated in San Antonio's 2009 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was an outstanding group of 30 sporting burnt orange.

The UT hue was attributed to a team from the college's Pharmacotherapy Division led by student Susan Orrell, herself a six-year breast cancer survivor.

The third-year pharmacy student says she has participated in the Austin race every year that she has been in pharmacy school. Last year, she said, she was joined by Diane Ginsburg, assistant dean for student affairs.

She was in San Antonio in 2009 where faculty and staff joined a student delegation in becoming one of the 810 participating teams in the race. Staff members Mary Frisce and Luis Regalado developed a design and the division paid for printing of the "Ready. Set. Cure." team shirts. Several faculty and staff participated in the walk while others sponsored students.

It is estimated that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Last year, more than 27,000 women were helped in the San Antonio community alone with proceeds from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

"My brush with breast cancer was really what motivated me to pursue my degree in pharmacy," she said. "I was in a different career and had been thinking of pharmacy for awhile, but after my diagnosis, I decided this was the time."

Last summer Orrell participated in the oncology rotation at the Veterans Administration. She said that upon graduation, she definitely wants to work in clinical pharmacy, perhaps in oncology where she could add a special feeling of empathy for the patients.

Last Reviewed: Janurary 19, 2010
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