When Christopher Schardt lost his wife Ginny to breast cancer in 2002, all the fight that had been in him and their family and friends didn't go away.
"You spend every day, every hour of every day fighting the disease and then when it ends you still have that momentum, you have that drive to make something happen," he said. "We still have a fight to fight."
Ten years later, the Baltimore resident is still fighting. Schardt's family and friends, as well as the family and friends of Ginny's friend, Jessica Cowling (who also succumbed to breast cancer in 2002) started The Red Devils.
On Sunday, the group runs its 10th annual 5K run and stroll at Goucher College.
The North Baltimore nonprofit—named after a form of chemotherapy—aims not to find a cure for breast cancer, but to help families that may not have the support structure or funds for the "little things"—meals, transportation, rent, co-pays on prescriptions.
"It costs the average family living with breast cancer about $1,800 a month, incrementally," said Jan Wilson, the group's executive director. "So these families really face some difficult choices, whether to put food on the table, gas in the car."
In the first year, Schardt said, the group raised just $5,000. Today the Red Devils work with 40 hospitals and help nearly 700 families annually.
"We all thought it would be successful. Unfortunately, there's still a huge need for those kinds of services," he said.
According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure statistics, nearly 5,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Maryland each year.
The 5K, which started as a walk around Centennial Park in Howard County, has been held in Towson for two years. Wilson said the group hopes to raise as much as $150,000 with Sunday's run, and up to 1,000 runners are expected to join in the race.
"The fact of the matter is we don't raise nearly enough money to help all the women who could benefit from our support services," Wilson said. "When we hear from those women (who we have helped), the importance and profound impact that we've been able to have on their lives, it just reinforces what we do."
Advance registration is closed, but runners can still register on the day of the race for $35. For more information, visit the group's website.