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The Hebert sisters are just some of the many people who will be supporting LRGHealthcare by participating in the Fourth Annual Fit for the Cure 5K Run/Walk at the Tanger Outlets in Tilton on Sept. 30. Shown as they gathered last week to discuss the upcoming event are Nicole Adamson, Renee Fortier and Mary Nyhan seated, and Valerie Allen, Stephanie Ewens, and Andrea McDevitt standing behind them. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
August 22, 2012
TILTON — The Hebert sisters, as they are known, lost both their mother and father to cancer, and said they hope that one day research will lead to a cure for the dreaded disease, no matter what form it takes.

That is one reason why, on Sept. 30, they will set out on the course for the Fourth Annual Fit for a Cure 5K Run/Walk at Tanger Outlets in Tilton to help raise money for LRGHealthcare's breast cancer awareness and early detection initiatives. Proceeds from Tanger's past 5K events have supported the purchase and upgrades of digital mammography technology and have helped to fund screening programs, which offer reduced-rate cancer screenings to those local residents who qualify and otherwise may not be able to afford it.

While their parents, Armand and Beverly Hebert, died from different forms of cancer, the women said supporting LRGHealthcare's oncology department by participating in the walk was one way they found they could help.

"Any opportunity we have to get together, we cherish," said Stephanie Ewens. "One out of every eight women will develop aggressive breast cancer. We're a family of women, so we make the effort to do this."

While their father was treated out of town ten years ago for his cancer, Beverly decided to stay nearer to home and her family when she received her diagnosis.

"She wanted to stay local to make it easier on all of us, so she went to Lakes Region General Hospital. Could she have gotten better care anywhere else?" Renee Fortier asked her five sisters.

They all answered with a resounding, "No!"

The six women were full of praise for the treatment their mother received at LRGH, and said that their experience with their mother made them feel a part of the larger family of the staff members they saw each day.

Valerie Allen said she and her sisters felt so at home at the hospital that they even began to pitch in and help other patients when they were visiting.

"We'd pass out snacks, change pillow cases, anything we could do to make others feel comfortable, too," she said.

Nicole Adamson said they all became entrenched in their mother's care, and that doctors and nurses were very compassionate and accommodating to the large family, which includes an older brother, Greg, who joined Beverly each day.

On the day their mother lost her battle to the disease, Adamson and her sisters were very touched when all of the nurses made a point of coming to see them, and were just as sad for their loss as they were.

"And they all came to her wake. The doctors, nurses, pharmacists, all of them," said Fortier.

"They were incredible. We all mattered," added Ewens.

Because of that care, and because of their personal losses to cancer, the women began participating in the Tanger Fit for a Cure 5K Run/Walk last year, and vow to make it a tradition to help raise money for LRGHealthcare. Last year, Andrea McDevitt was unable to take part, but looks forward to the challenge this year.

"I'm in training for it now," she said, and although she joked she would prefer to ride her horse over the course instead, sister Nicole assured her she would be fine.

"I ran the last three-quarters of a mile last year. Everyone's just so encouraging along the way. It's very friendly, and really easy to do," Adamson said.

The 5K course starts from the parking lot behind the Tanger Outlets and heads onto Birch Pond Road. From there, runners and walkers will follow Route 132 to Vista Heights, where they will go around the circle and back down Route 132 to the start/finish line. It is a timed and sanctioned race.

Pre-registration is currently underway until midnight on Sept. 27, and the first 500 participants will receive a special race tee shirt. To pre-register, people can stop by Shopper Services at the Tanger Outlets on Route 3 in Tilton or go to www.tangeroutlet.com/race.

The cost to register is $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under, or $25 per person for same day registration. Everyone who joins the walk/run will receive a commemorative race medal along with special offers from the many stores at Tanger Outlet Center.

Warm-up activities begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, and the race will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony for the top finishers. Families, businesses, groups, and individuals of all ages are encouraged to participate and come out to show their support.

"Doing this for LRGHealthcare is our way of saying thanks for the care our mom received," said Mary Nyhan. "It's a 'no brainer' for us, and we hope to see a lot of people there."

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