Winning her own battle with cancer, then the Race for the Cure 5K

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By Kate Darnell

“I was never a runner,” Mandie Graham said.

And so Mandie was a little surprised when she began running in May.

“I just started running,” she said. “I built up my stamina.”

While Mandie claims she never was a fast runner, she won first place Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Susan G. Koeman Race for the Cure 5K in Lexington.

Mandie was the first cancer survivor to cross the finish line at 26 minutes and 25 seconds.

“Are you kidding me?” Mandie asked when an official at the finish line told her the news.

She hadn’t even known there was a special placing for survivors.

“I had no idea,” she said.

Mandie was also surprised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Nov. 11, 2004.

“I was never upset...” Mandie said about the diagnosis. “I just knew that this was happening for a reason.”

She was 28 years old.

See more of Mandie's story in this week's print edition of The Cynthiana Democrat.