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Communities that KARE: Janelle Peterson

The volunteer coordinator for the Twin Cities Race for the Cure is helping to shape a new, virtual experience.

MINNEAPOLIS — COVID-19 changed a lot this year, including the Twin Cities Race for the Cure.

Instead of tens of thousands of people gathering at Edina's Southdale Center on Mother's Day weekend, the race is going virtual.

Janelle Peterson is helping to take on that challenge.

For more than 15 years, Peterson has helped the race in some capacity. Ever since a good friend's mother passed away from breast cancer, she wanted a way to give back.

"After the first year, I was hooked. And each year, I get more embedded in it because of the people," Peterson said.

As the Twin Cities Race for the Cure's volunteer coordinator, she's a matriarch of sorts.

Credit: Susan G. Komen Minnesota

"I always say that the race committee is like an extended family that you might see once a year. You always know that they remember you and everyone checks in with each other," said Peterson.

That's a family of volunteers who are adapting to a new virtual experience.

"We have a number of people who give up their time to make this successful and make Race for the Cure one of the best races in Minnesota. This is their time together to celebrate either as a survivor or give back to their community," Peterson explained.

While we can't walk together, Peterson is doing everything to support a cause close to her heart.

"There are so many feelings it's hard to describe, but I think just pride. Pride in knowing that I am helping an organization that means so much to me," said Peterson.

Even as the world focuses on COVID-19, people are counting on us to make sure breast cancer research continues.

You can still sign up to participate in virtual Race for the Cure. You'll get a t-shirt and bib in the mail.

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