VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/21/06)-Walkers from National Ministries anticipate their 60-mile trek for Philadelphia's "Breast Cancer 3-Day," October 6-8, with feelings of solidarity and gratitude for a chance to help.
Each walker has trained for the event and committed to raise a minimum of $2,200. Net proceeds from the walk benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (85%) and the National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.
The Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day will begin with opening ceremonies at the Willow Grove Park Mall in Willow Grove, Pa., on Friday, October 6, and conclude with closing ceremonies at Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., on Sunday, October 8. Anyone may attend the opening and closing ceremonies.
Breast Cancer statistics are daunting - this year, more than 200,000 women and men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 Americans will lose their lives to the disease. These statistics reach personally into all of our lives and have names and faces associated with them.
Many involved in the walk are motivated by direct experience with the disease. Aundreia Alexander, National Ministries' Coordinator of Community Ministries, says, "As a recent survivor, the walk is another way for me to praise God for my survival. And it reminds me of the journey - it's symbolic of having gone through the treatment process."
Sue Peterman, Assistant to the Associate Executive Director for Program Ministries, has a strong impetus, too. Peterman is walking in memory of her aunt who had breast cancer in the early 1970s. Tragically, her aunt died at the age of 39, soon after giving birth to her second child, because doctors believed they needed to delay treatment due to her pregnancy. "My family and friends have been amazingly supportive of my walking," says Peterman. "My mother is a breast cancer survivor and I know almost 20 others who also are survivors. Through research, education and screening, a cure will be found."
Prior to the walk, National Ministries will sponsor a Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 4. During this event, free breast cancer literature will be on hand for distribution, as will be gifts in appreciation for donations. A gift basket will also be raffled.
"I am so grateful for those National Ministries staff members who have survived cancer, breast cancer and otherwise, over the course of the last 15 years," says Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, Executive Director of National Ministries. "I walk for those who are surviving and in memory of those who have been claimed by this terrible disease."
Tondi Duncan, Office Coordinator at National Ministries, says, "I have friends and family members who have had breast cancer, some of whom have passed on and others who, because of efforts like the walk, have survived. I'm thankful and more than willing to be a part of an effort to save lives. It's also a wonderful opportunity for women to bond."
Walkers will follow a route charted by the event organizers through small towns, suburbs and downtown Philadelphia to cover about 20 miles each day. Keeping their own pace, they will be supported by hundreds of volunteer crew members who provide meals, water and snack stops, gear transport, hot showers, portable restrooms, safety on the streets and comprehensive medical services.
"I have the privilege of serving as a crew member and supporting the walkers in a variety of ways. My assigned responsibilities focus on 'Route Safety.' Everyone can help," says Laura Miraz, National Ministries' Associate Executive Director of Board and Staff Services.
Each walker has a Web page at www.The3day.org, where donations can be made. For more information, please contact Felecia Williams at 800-ABC-3USA, ext. 2407.
Andrew C. Jayne American Baptist Churches, USA Mission Resource Development http://www.abc-usa.org/