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BUDDY CHECK: Randi's Army marches on

11:07 AM, Jun 10, 2011   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- When Randi Passoff lost her battle with breast cancer last fall, those closest to her knew they had to continue the fight.

"When we lost Randi, it was devastating," said one of Randi's closest friends Susan Oates. "But the fight's not over, and we can't let it go."

RELATED: Randi Passoff passes away

In that fighting spirit, Randi's Army was born.

Randi's son, U.S. Army First Lt. Mike Passoff, was deployed for most of his mother's illness.

"While I was away fighting in Iraq, she was home building an army and fighting her own battles here," he said. "I consider my mom . . . a five-star general. She passed away. Someone's got to pick up the torch and run with it."

He knew just who to call to lead Randi's Army into battle.

Oates first met Randi Passoff during the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. She was instantly drawn to the three-time cancer survivor's spirit and drive.

When Lt. Passoff asked Oates to be the executive director of Randi's Army, she immediately ran to the front lines and began organizing events to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

"We have declared war on this disease," Oates said. "This disease has got to go."

Randi's Army recently began offering a discount card. For a $20 donation, customers can receive a card and use it to save money at certain stores. A list of participating retailers is available on the Randi's Army website.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the organization will host the first annual Randi Passoff Memorial Walk for Breast Cancer at Centennial Olympic Park.

The 20K walk costs $50 to enter; all proceeds will stay in Georgia to help local breast cancer patients fight their own battles.

Both the walk and the discount card channel the spirit of the woman who raised more than $7 million for breast cancer research in only seven years.

"I'm tired of crying over this," Oates said. "It's time to stand up and fight. It's time to fight like a girl."

Randi's Army is an affiliate of Paint Georgia Pink, a nonprofit that donates money to those working on a cure for breast cancer.

For more information, visit www.randisarmy.org.

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