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Panerathon set Oct. 3 in downtown Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — The Panerathon 10K/2 Mile Walk/Run will celebrate its 12th year gathering thousands of community members Oct. 3 at the Covelli Centre.

This year’s Panerathon will kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, raising money for the Mercy Health Foundation and the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center.

The center became the vision of Dr. Rashid Abdu after losing his wife, Joanie, to an aggressive form of breast cancer in 1994. Many years later, with the help of Panerathon, Dr. Abdu’s dream of a comprehensive breast care facility in Youngstown was brought to fruition when the breast care center opened in 2011.

It has performed more than 100,000 exams along with an additional 5,000 through its mobile mammography unit, the only one in eastern Ohio with 3D mammography technology, which dramatically improves breast cancer detection.

These breakthroughs have changed the quality of breast care for women in the region – allowing more women access to the early detection, rapid treatment, and interdisciplinary care.

Covelli Enterprises and Mercy Health Foundation underwrite the costs of hosting Panerathon, so 100 percent of community sponsorships and registration fees may be donated directly to the cause, according to a news release from Panera.

Mercy Health physicians will be also on-site during the event administering COVID-19 vaccines for any individual who needs to be vaccinated.

“Panerathon has enabled the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center to provide care to everyone, regardless of ability to pay, and has made a significant impact on the community. We are excited to bring back the event in a safe way this year,” said Paul S. Homick, Jr., president, Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley.

“Over the last 12 years, the quality of life for the people in our community has been improved through Panerathon and its mission to support the JACBCC,” said Sam Covelli, owner of Covelli Enterprises that sponsors the Panerathon. “This year will be special as we come back together again to continue what we started 12 years ago. We are grateful to all of you for planning to participate, volunteer, or sponsor the 2021 event, thank you.”

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