River of Life Adventure Hub: Follow Carolyn Choate as she kayaks 300 miles for breast cancer research

The River of Life Journey: Supporting Breast Cancer Research A Project of Department of Pharmacology

The journeys of breast cancer survivor Carolyn Choate and world-renowned medical researcher Dr. Angela Brodie are linked. Both have devoted years of their lives to battling cancer, to educating others, and to providing resources to help patients in their fight. And with the River of Life fundraising initiative, Carolyn and her 27-year-old daughter Sydney Choate Turnbull, will kayak more than 300 miles from New Hampshire to Maryland to honor Dr. Brodie, whom she credits with saving her life through the discovery of a new class of drugs to treat estrogen-positive breast cancer.

This summer, Carolyn and Sydney will begin their campaign to honor Dr. Brodie and send the message to younger generations--that they represent the future of breast cancer research funding.

Carolyn's connection to Dr. Brodie began years ago, when she was diagnosed with Stage 3b estrogen-positive breast cancer in 2003. At age 45, Carolyn was a local TV personality in New Hampshire, with a full life revolving around her husband and two young daughters, Sydney, then 12, and MacKenzie, 9. Despite regular mammograms, she was the one who discovered the abnormality in her right breast. Her surgeon gave her three years to live. Now, 14 years since her original prognosis, she credits her recovery and improved health with the aromatase inhibitor that Dr. Brodie discovered at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

In 2014, Carolyn met with Dr. Brodie in her laboratory at the School of Medicine campus where she developed the drug that saved Carolyn's life, cementing a bond that Carolyn felt for years. Now, she is honoring Dr. Brodie's research with the River of Life campaign, an opportunity to educate others and support the necessary research that can provide hope and healing to so many women suffering from breast cancer.

Carolyn began her journey on May 13, 2017, in Nashua, and will paddle in Boston, Worcester, New York City, and other locations before being joined by her daughter Sydney in August for the official launch of her tribute journey on the Delaware River in Port Jervis, NY. An experienced ocean kayaker, Sydney resigned from her job as Event Producer for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Together, the two will paddle to Carolyn's birthplace of Havre de Grace, Maryland, and finally into Baltimore's Inner Harbor, escorted by kayaking supporters and the Coast Guard to a celebration honoring Dr. Brodie, just a stone's throw from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The River of Life kayaking event is the latest fundraising effort for Carolyn, who has previously hiked solo in Greece and in Denmark to raise funds to provide financial support for breast cancer patients in need. With the River of Life, Carolyn recognizes the work of Dr. Brodie, whose tenacious pursuit of research and groundbreaking discoveries have touched so many lives, including Carolyn's.

Dr. Angela Brodie passed away on June 7, 2017. Carolyn's message in response to this sad news:

It is with the deepest sadness and, yet, the greatest admiration and appreciation that I can summon, when I share with all of you the death of Dr. Brodie, the woman whose life's work saved mine from certain death. I will always be indebted; always thankful that God gave me the ironic privilege to follow my heart and find the person who compounded the drug - the aromatase inhibitor - that gave me a second chance at life. I speak for millions of women - and men - who have been diagnosed with estrogen positive breast cancer when I say our "angel" has passed on. Truly, my dedication to River of Life just got that much stronger: to fill her mighty high heels for the next generation. Our daughters - I dare say, humanity - deserves nothing less. – Carolyn Choate


Follow Carolyn and Sydney's Journey!

Click here to see Carolyn & Sydney's itinerary

Click here to follow Carolyn & Sydney's trip mile-by-mile

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Carolyn Choate on Twitter: @tv13nashua

Facebook: Kayak River of Life

Read about Carolyn's journey in the Pocono Record and see her story on FOX 56 and WFMZ-TV. Her story has been picked up by the Associated Press and featured in more than 30 newspapers, spreading the word about the River of Life.

How can you help?

Through the River of Life fundraising journey, New Hampshire TV personality and University of Maryland supporter Carolyn Choate aims to raise $500,000 for breast cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Carolyn will bring attention to breast cancer, one of the most daunting women's health issues today that deserves additional education, resources, and awareness.

Carolyn will stop at 12 locations along the way from Nashua, New Hampshire, to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. At each location, Carolyn will raise awareness of the breast cancer research conducted at the School of Medicine and will encourage support of these important initiatives.

Your gift to the River of Life Fund demonstrates your commitment to continue breast cancer research and to save more lives like Carolyn's. With your donation, you show your support not only for Carolyn during her 300-mile kayaking journey, but for all women who have fought or will fight breast cancer, and for the physicians, like Dr. Angela Brodie, who have devoted their lives to battling this disease.

Your support of the River of Life Fund ensures that the next generation of groundbreaking University of Maryland School of Medicine cancer researchers can continue and expand their work, advancing transformative scientific discovery further, helping future generations of women.


For more information about the latest groundbreaking advancements in breast cancer research, please visit:

Information on Dr. Angela Brodie's research and her recognition as a UMB Champion of Excellence

Information on the cancer research being conducted at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Pharmacology

Information on the University of Maryland's Excellence in Cancer Research

Information on the Hormone Responsive Cancers Program

$36,590 Raised
7% towards $500,000 Goal

Supported by 93 Donations: