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Published: Saturday, 9/29/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

91-year-old woman walks for a cure to breast cancer

Now 91, Maralyn Hunston, who is a 57-year cancer survivor, will be among the thousands Sunday at the 19th annual Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure. Now 91, Maralyn Hunston, who is a 57-year cancer survivor, will be among the thousands Sunday at the 19th annual Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure.

After church most Sundays, Maralyn Hunston, 91, heads to a gym to exercise, but this week she plans to complete a more strenuous task instead — a 3.1-mile walk.

"With the family to support me, I don't really realize that that's such a distance. I just keep walking, while talking to family members and sometimes singing," Mrs. Hunston, of Sebring, Ohio, said.

The 57-year cancer survivor told The Blade on Friday she planned to participate in the 19th Annual Komen Northwest Ohio Race for the Cure. The largest charity event in northwest Ohio, according to its organizers, the 5-kilometer run/walk attracted nearly 18,000 registered participants last year.

The northwest Ohio affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast-health charity, will hold the event in downtown Toledo, where pre-race festivities will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the race will kick off at 9:30 a.m., at the conclusion of the Survivor Parade, which starts on Monroe Street at 8:45 a.m.

Mrs. Hunston said she plans to walk the whole route as part of a family group for the seventh straight year. The group has varied from 10 to about 20 people who through the years included her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She schedules trips from her home, in Mahoning County southwest of Youngstown, nearly three hours away from Toledo, to visit her daughter in Perrysburg to coincide with each year's Komen event.

Her family also participates, she said, "because we felt that we should support those who have had cancer of all kinds," she said.

But daughter Deb Hunston said it is her mother who is "the driving force" of the Perrysburg family's annual effort to support the walk.

Mrs. Hunston was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1955 after her third child was born and had surgery later that year in Salem, Ohio. The 1942 graduate of Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio, used to teach piano in Salem at her home. In retirement, she has lived in the Copeland Oaks retirement community in neighboring Sebring for nine years.

On-site registration continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brondes Ford in Maumee. Brondes registration is $30 for ages 18 and older and $20 for ages 17 and under. Race day registration will be available at the registration table inside Fifth Third Field for $45 a person.

Made possible by more than 700 volunteers, this year's event will be held in celebration of Ingrid Bias and in memory of Margaret “Lambie” Guyton Stout.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com or 419-724-6089.

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