Inmates run for cancer cure

Normally, guards at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center get edgy when they see inmates running.

But Sunday they were all smiles as more than 250 of their charges turned out for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Pat McGaffin, the NNCC staffer who organized the race, said the inmates raised more than $4,000 for breast cancer research. Many of them, she said, did it for a good cause. A few, however, had more personal reasons.

"My mother's fighting it," said inmate Dale Schrock as he walked around the prison yard. He said a former neighbor is also battling cancer so he found a guard to sponsor him and turned out to walk 5 kilometers even though he's limping from a torn leg muscle.

Robert Gardner said he too had a personal reason: "There's a possibility my son may have some problems."

Entertained by an inmate band, they were joined by a number of prison staff as some walked and others ran around the yard.

"It's a pretty laid back yard," said Jeremy Forbes. "Not much drama out here."

Forbes said he joined in "because cancer's such a bad thing.

"We need to find out more about it and how to get rid of it." he said.

McGaffin, a breast cancer survivor herself, said this is the second year NNCC inmates have joined the national Race for the Cure. They raised about $3,000 last year.

She said women inmates in the intake center and at Silver Springs Conservation Camp were also walking Sunday morning. And a small group of inmates unable to walk were going at least a mile in their wheelchairs.

Many of the sponsorships for the inmates came from their families and friends on the outside. But McGaffin said a good number also came from prison staff who agreed to contribute for inmates who were willing to participate.

In Reno, more than 3,000 people were expected to participate in the race.


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