port of harlem magazine

June 1 - June 14, 2007


Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Exclusive Interview with Singer Patti Austin - Free Washington Performance June 2

Patti AustinSusan G. Komen for the Cure has announced that Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Patti Austin will perform for registered Race participants in celebration of the 18th annual Komen National Race for the Cure Saturday, June 2 in Washington, D.C.  Besides wanting to be supportive, the songstress has had a relation with breast cancer, “My mother was suspected of having breast cancer a couple of times,” says Austin in an exclusive telephone interview. 

Austin’s mother, who previously had cervical cancer, took further tests to learn whether she had cancer of the breast.  “Unfortunately, she had a biopsy (to detect if their was cancer in the breast) that later ended up being responsible for her having  a stroke.  She did not have breast cancer,” added Austin.  (Having a stroke after a biopsy is rare says the National Institutes of Health.)

Austin has also faced a serious disease: diabetes.  “I had diabetes type II,” says the former 285- pound singing sensation. “I had obesity-driven diabetes,” continued the now 140-pound Austin.  To reach her new weight, Austin had gastric bypass surgery and the result has been remarkable.

The newly physically lightweight R&B and Jazz musical heavyweight performs live on the National Mall at 9:00a - just as runners cross the finish line in this year's 5K event.  An estimated 50,000 participants from across the country, including 3,000 breast cancer survivors, will take one step at a time in working toward Susan G. Komen for the Cure's vision - a world without breast cancer.

Race registrants are cordially invited to enjoy the performance, which will take place as part of the post-Race festivities, between 3rd and 7th St, NW on the National Mall.   Austin will perform songs from her recently-released album, Avant-Gershwin.  Other post-Race activities include the Kids for the Cure activity area, sponsors’ expo with prize giveaways and appearances by local celebrities.

The Komen National Race last year raised $3.3 million and awarded a record $2.7 million to local breast health and breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs for the medically underserved in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland.  Komen National Race festivities begins at 6:45a, ahead of the Race starts at 8:00a.  To register or for further information call 703-416-RACE (703-416-7223) or click here

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