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Breast Cancer Survivors, Ringed By Bras, Thank O'Malley

As Annapolis rallies go, this one stood out. Organizers ringed Lawyer's Mall, a familiar site adjacent to the State House for such events, with what they said were 2,600 bras. A sign at this morning's event read: "Don't Leave Women Exposed."

There were bras of virtually every size and color -- and some very loud patterns. Groups of schoolchildren on tours of the capital complex appeared bewildered as they passed by.

But once the event got underway, the twitters died down and the tone was dead serious.

Health-care advocates and breast cancer survivors took to the podium, at times holding back tears, to thank Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for sparing a state breast and cervical cancer screening program during the state's most recent round of budget cuts.

"I can't thank him enough for what he did," said Del. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George's), a 23-year survivor of breast cancer.

The advocates also urged O'Malley to boost funding for the program, which serves lower-income women, in his upcoming budget, which is due to the General Assembly in January.

The event was organized by the American Cancer Society and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Organziers said nearly 1,000 women will die this year from breast and cervical cancer and about 4,000 women will be diagnosed with the two illnesses.

By John Wagner  |  October 29, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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