River of Life Tribute Challenge: Honoring Dr. Angela Brodie
Breast Cancer Survivor Embarks on Kayaking Adventure to Raise Funds and Celebrate Innovation
A 300-Mile Journey to Honor University of Maryland School of Medicine Breast Cancer Research Pioneer, Dr. Angela Brodie
Breast cancer survivor, Carolyn Choate, together with her daughter Sydney Turnbull, crossed the finish line in Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Aug. 27, completing their 300-mile kayaking journey that began on Aug. 10 in Port Jervis, New York. In an tandem kayak, the mother-daughter team kayed along the Delaware River, through the heart of Philadelphia and ended up in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor -- the home of University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) -- to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research. Their Kayak River of Life journey is a tribute to the late Dr. Angela Brodie, an internationally renowned breast cancer researcher at UM SOM who was a pioneer in the discovery and development of aromatase inhibitors, a class of drugs widely used to treat estrogen positive breast cancer patients around the world.
"It is through philanthropic support from people like Carolyn and those of you here today that we are able to fund the next revolutionary discoveries in breast cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine," said UM SOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also Vice President, Medical Affairs, University of Maryland and the John and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. "Dr. Brodie’s legacy will be realized through women, like Carolyn Choate, who are living longer and enjoying years they would not otherwise have had, if it were not for Dr. Brodie’s research."
Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh also made brief remarks, recognizing Ms. Choate and Turnbull for their work to raise support for future generations of breast cancer research at UM SOM.
With the goal of raising $500,000 to complete a $2.5 million Distinguished Professorship in honor of Dr. Brodie, the mother-daughter team celebrated the thousands of women diagnosed and recovering from breast cancer, the exceptional research and development that has saved many lives so far and the promise of future generations of research in this critical area.
“It’s important to me that I do whatever I can to honor Dr. Brodie and continue to support the kind of innovation that, quite literally, saved my life, and the lives of countless other women,” said Choate, a 14-year survivor who has raised money and awareness for breast cancer research by advocating at home and abroad, hiking across Santorini, Greece and most recently from Copenhagen to Lejre, Denmark.
Sydney Turnbull joined her mother on the River of Life journey to help promote continued research. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor she considers it a key mission for her and her younger sister MacKenzie, 24. “It’s our turn to take the baton,” said Turnbull. “We can’t sit around and do nothing. Dr. Brodie’s will be big shoes to fill, but we’re excited about finding that special person who will be for our generation what Dr. Brodie has been for my mom’s.”
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