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 Brook was diagnosed with breast cancer just four months after giving birth to her first child.

(Athens, OH) – The Fourth Annual Southeast Ohio Race for the Cure® will welcome more than 1,500 participants to Athens on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Register here!

Many records will be broken, but one is already assured – It will the first time the race is co-chaired by someone still in diapers.  Hugh Oliver, age 19 months, will accompany his mom and dad, two-time cancer survivors and co-survivors, Cara and Dominick Brook.

Cara serves as the President & CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, professional work that involves creating opportunities to help families across Southeast Ohio. Her personal mission also involves facing triple negative breast cancer. Brook received the diagnosis in April 2017, just four months after giving birth to Hugh.

“I was breastfeeding and found a lump. I just thought it had something to do with breastfeeding,” Brook said. “My mother told me to check it out and, and so I had my first mammogram and ultrasound at the age of 35. This led to my diagnosis. I soon discovered there is an increased period of risk for breast cancer around pregnancy that is often overlooked.”

It was the second time Brook received a cancer diagnosis. She underwent 11 months of chemotherapy for Ewing’s Sarcoma more than 15 years ago, when she and her husband, Dominick, were first dating. During that cancer, Brook used her lifetime limit of an important class of chemotherapy drugs, making her treatment for cancer this second time around much more complicated.  That’s because triple negative breast cancer is currently tougher to treat than other forms of breast cancer.

Triple negative breast cancer doesn’t respond to the hormone-based therapy plans that have generated so much progress in breast cancer survival rates, and since it is more common among younger women who are not yet having mammograms, it is too frequently diagnosed at a late stage.  Only 10-15 percent of women are found to be triple-negative and the reality is that it is a number of different cancers  — its name comes simply from the fact that it tests negative for the three hormone receptors treatments are currently developed to target.

“My passion for Komen’s mission is two-fold,” said Brook. “First, they have prioritized Southeast Ohio and are actively funding screenings and other services that are so desperately needed by the women here in our community, and they are targeting their research efforts to conquer triple negative breast cancer, which truly is one of the final frontiers in ensuring all breast cancer patients receive good outcomes. What we are learning from our research with triple negative breast cancer will help people with many other types of cancer.”

“Cara and the entire Brook family are inspirations for women and families across Ohio,” said Katie Carter, executive director, Komen Columbus. “To Cara to receive a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis, continue her work as an advocate for Appalachia, and be a new parent speaks volumes to her perseverance and passion for life.”

Race proceeds will support local community health programs in 18 Southeastern Ohio counties. Athens, Vinton, Washington, Jackson, Morgan, Perry, Meigs, Gallia, Noble, Hocking, Scioto, Pike, Ross, Fairfield, Muskingum, Guernsey, Monroe and Lawrence.

“All women should be able to access high quality health care, and Appalachian Ohio has far too many women who aren’t receiving these services. There’s a huge need, and Komen is providing leadership and support to all who are working to fill the gap,” Brook said.

For more information about the Southeast Ohio Race for the Cure or to register, visit

About Susan G. Komen Columbus® Komen Columbus has funded more than $33 million since it began in 1993. Komen is the only breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts through community outreach, research, advocacy and global work. Locally, Komen Columbus collaborates with community partners to fund education to the many women still unaware of their risk for breast cancer, screening to many uninsured and underinsured struggling in our current economy, and support to those diagnosed and undergoing treatment. Susan G. Komen® has invested more than $13.5 million in breast cancer research in Ohio and has overall invested $889 million in global research. For more information, please visit or call the Komen Columbus office at (614) 297-8155 or Toll Free: 1-866-611-2873. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blog.