An Eldersburg mother of two will represent more than her hometown at the 137th Preakness Stakes events in Baltimore next week.
Kathleen Kelly has been named Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior by Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which means she will appear at several race-related activities throughout the week.
Her itinerary includes "Black-Eyed Susan Day" on Friday, May 18, the post position draw on Wednesday, the Alibi Breakfast on Thursday, and on the storied cupola for the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase following the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown itself on Saturday, May 19.
The purpose of "Black-Eyed Susan Day" is to raise funds to aid awareness and research, with 75 percent of funds raised to go to Komen's Maryland affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland, and 25 percent for life-saving breast cancer research.
Kelly is a five-year breast cancer survivor and single parent of two young boys. She was first diagnosed on July 15, 2006, with stage 3 breast cancer, but said she believes she got sick in order to provide hope for others with similar struggles in their lives.
“I am often asked how my life has changed since being diagnosed with breast cancer,” Kelly said.“A better question would be -- how has it not changed?"
"Instead of being asked, 'How has cancer changed me?' I want to be asked, 'How have I helped those with cancer?' My goal is to be able to answer, 'By providing hope -- hope that a cure and a better life are just around the corner.”
The name Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior is in recognition of Candy Coburn’s popular song, “Pink Warrior.” (See the YouTube video on the right).
The original Miss Preakness contest was refashioned in 2010 to honor breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer.
This information was provided in a Maryland Jockey Club press release.