Foursome fighting breast cancer with walk

Published 1:14 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Three days and 60 miles — it’s a lot in both time and distance, but for four Andalusia women, it’s a commitment to helping eradicate breast cancer.

But, they need the community’s help to do it.

For the majority of the last four years, Kim Brooks, Wendy Weaver, Melissa Whittle and Tonya Mount have raised thousands of dollars to help fund breast cancer research by participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Series, a three-day, 60-mile walk benefiting the Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation.

“So many people have been affected or know someone affected by breast cancer,” Brooks said. “While each of us are lucky enough to have not been diagnosed with the disease, we all know someone who has. This walk — it’s not about the four of us who are walking. It’s all about those who have breast cancer, who have had breast cancer and those who will have it in the future.

“We walk to help find a cure,” she said.

Each walker in the three-day event is required to pay $2,300 to participate — 85 percent of which is donated Susan G. Komen For the Cure and 15 percent to the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

“The whole experience of walking is very emotional,” Brooks said. “It’s very rewarding and really makes you feel like you are making a difference. I know we are making a difference.”

Brooks said approximately 2,500 people participate annually in the event at each of the 15 cities around the nation. The Andalusia group is participating in the Tampa, Fla., walk scheduled for Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

She said the group is about halfway in raising the required entry fee.

“That is why we are having the second annual Singing for a Cure,” she said. “It’s a night of gospel music set for Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church here in Andalusia.

“It would be really great if we could make the other half we need though this event,” she said.

There is no admission fee; however, donations will be accepted. Local talent set to perform include: Southland, One A Chord, Tri of Fran Patterson, Lynn King and Betty Davis, a trio of Ivy Beam, Alli Gantt and Cat Dean, Praises Four, Jim Walker, Donald Bryan, Amy Nichols, Beth Dean, Southside Baptist Church Choir, Barbara Peek, Brian and Hayley Capps, Byram Lambert and the Monroe County Interdenominational Mass Choir.

“We want everyone to come out and enjoy about an hour and a half to two hours of great music,” she said. “It’s all put on for a good cause.

“The money we raise for the Breast Cancer 3-day goes directly where it’s needed the most — toward breast cancer research, education and community health programs,” she said. “Battling breast cancer is hard work — hard work to overcome it, for the people affected; hard work for the people who treat it and hard work to find the causes and cures.

“That’s why we walk,” she said. “It’s hard work but that’s what it takes to find a cure.”