A Cure or BUST! was founded in 2005 by Beth Packman in honor of her mother, who has beaten breast cancer three times. Last’s year’s team had only four people and raised $5,651, but it was an off year. Packman was in Macedonia on a six-month work assignment for a NGO. In 2008, the team had about 15 members and raised close to $7,000. So far in 2010, the team has four members and has already raised $5,442.

“When I was eight years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 43 at the time. I was very young and don’t believe I understood the magnitude of what was happening. There was never a chance that my mother would not get better…I was never told the potential outcomes, “Packman explained. “Over the years, after my mother conquered breast cancer two more times, I became much more aware.”

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As she matured into a young woman and adult, Packman learned more about the disease and really wanted to do what she could to help raise funds to find the cures. “I wanted to make my mother and friends proud. Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Everyone has seen the courageous battles fought — some won and some lost.”

Packman wanted to raise awareness and money, so she created a Race team for her mother. “She’s an incredible woman,” she explained. “Fighting breast cancer three times is remarkable enough, but she is such a positive and strong woman — someone to admire and strive for.”

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Her teammates are friends who have had a mother, relative or close friend who has been diagnosed with the disease. “Every woman on the team is strong in her own right. I’m so grateful for their continuous support of A Cure or BUST!”

Packman uses her substantial personal email list to recruit team members and solicit pledges. She also uses Facebook to boost recruitment and fundraising. She is very open about her passion for the cause. “I’ve never hidden how breast cancer has impacted my family or that I am high-risk,” she said. Packman believes that less is more when it comes to fundraising. If people have not made a pledge, she’ll casually mention how well things are going in the hopes of triggering them to donate soon or when she sends out the next reminder.

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Her favorite Race memory? “I won’t lie,” she said. “I think we all love going to brunch after the Race, usually at a place on the Upper West Side. It’s a fun treat after an early morning, tough run! “