Full list | 2016 Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade participants nam - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Full list | 2016 Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade participants named

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Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade
Jennie Rees, a breast cancer survivor and participant in the 2016 Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade (Submitted photo) Jennie Rees, a breast cancer survivor and participant in the 2016 Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade (Submitted photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The 142 participants of the 8th annual Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade were named Wednesday. 

The Survivors Parade, sponsored by Kroger, will take place on Friday, May 6, on Churchill Downs’ historic racetrack. The breast and ovarian cancer survivors will walk in the parade directly prior to the 142nd running of the Kentucky Oaks race.

Fans and family members were invited to nominate themselves, a relative, or a friend who has survived breast and/or ovarian cancer by sharing their survivor's battle story from Feb. 16 through Tuesday.  

In addition to walking in the parade, each of the 142 participants will receive two free reserved seats to the Kentucky Oaks, courtesy of Churchill Downs.

Among those selected include Jennie Rees, who retired last fall as the longtime turf writer for the Courier-Journal.

"I had no symptoms, you couldn't see or feel anything, it was because I went and got the mammogram," Rees told WDRB on Wednesday. "I was lucky. My cancer was detected early."

Her bio, written by her sister, reads: 

Following her own encouragement, when Jennie decided to take the buy-out from the Courier-Journal's parent company Gannett, she knew she had better get a mammogram, while she had guaranteed coverage. She had a mammogram, which called for further diagnosis. An MRI lead to a biopsy, which lead to a lumpectomy. 

Rees underwent a bilateral mastectomy on Feb. 18.

Rees, who has covered every Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby since 1984, said the past seven years she's always watched the Survivors Parade and thought of her mother, who died from breast cancer, and two of her aunts, who are breast cancer survivors.

"This disease affects so many people," Rees said. "And this event, this Survivors Parade does a great job at getting the awareness out there and helps raise money."

Rees says it's "better to find to find out early."

"You can be a survivor," she said, adding that she will soon meet with an oncologist to find out what sort of follow-up treatment she might need.

The 142 Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade participants (and their bios) from the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade website include:

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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