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Redmond breast cancer survivor to be honored at Sounders game Wednesday
The last time Lori Longthorne attended a Seattle Sounders FC game was when she was in high school.
She was growing up in Federal Way and the team played their games in Tacoma. Now 49 and a Redmond resident of about 20 years, Longthorne will be attending her first soccer game in more than two decades. Longthorne will be one of two dozen individuals to be honored at Wednesday’s game at CenturyLink Field against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC for their work in raising money and awareness for breast cancer.
“This is my first Sounders game I’ve ever been to,” she said of attending a match at CenturyLink Field. “I’m so excited.”
Longthorne was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in 2005. She went through two surgeries to remove a number of tumors, followed by six weeks of radiation. It’s been eight years that she has been cancer free but she still remembers how long it took her to feel better.
“It took forever for my muscles to heal,” she said.
As an avid motocross racer, Longthorne was also eager to get back on her bike after her surgeries.
And this year, she combined her love for the sport with her desire to raise money for breast cancer and attended and supported this year's Motocross Race for a Cure, an event in Portland, Ore. that raises money for breast cancer research. The event raised money for the Legacy Foundation Non Profit Tumor Bank. Longthorne said the money they raise from the event goes toward research on how cancer grows.
In addition, Longthorne also volunteered with an eight-band concert, featuring Mechanism — a band based in Seattle — to raise money for cancer research at Mary Bridge's Children's Hospital in Tacoma. Longthorne, whose father died of lung cancer four years ago, has also been involved in Relay for Life.
She said it is important to have a community when going through cancer.
“Sometimes we don’t know what someone going through (cancer) means,” Longthorne said. “All we have to do is ask.”
Erin Curtis, a community relations intern for the Sounders and Seattle Seahawks, said for Wednesday’s event at the soccer game, Longthorne and 23 other breast cancer survivors will be brought onto the field during the pregame show. They will receive red-carpet treatment, be presented with pink scarves and honored during the flag ceremony. The honorees — along with one guest each — will also be seated in a special section of the stadium to watch the game.
Curtis said the Sounders and the Seahawks have been holding these ceremonies to honor breast cancer survivors for the last few years as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, although it depends on whether they have home games in October. The Seahawks’ ceremony honoring survivors will be Oct. 13.
Curtis added that they also try to “pink out” the stadium at these events with pink lights and players wearing pink apparel.
She said it is important for the teams to hold these events to show their gratitude for the fans and honor the community.
“It’s really our opportunity to thank our community and our fans,” she said.