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Team prepares to walk for breast cancer

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By Anne Radford

The Courier-Herald

Several Bonney Lake residents are gearing up to participate in a three-day walk in July to raise money to fight breast cancer.

Patricia Brooks is walking with a team of five coworkers in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. The 60-mile trek, from July 22-24, originates in Issaquah and culminates in Seattle.

Brooks and her coworkers from a Seattle law firm decided to get involved with the walk in February after a senior partner's wife died from breast cancer.

"We thought this would be a really special way to memorialize her," Brooks said.

Brooks' mother-in-law and several family friends also have been affected by breast cancer.

"They are my reason for doing this," she said.

The Ya-Ya Blisterhood consists of Brooks, Patricia Buchanan, Karen Kalzer, Rosemary Moore, Christina Smith and Tammy Williams. The team has already raised about $13,000 in donations that will go to the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

The team has trained both individually and together to prepare for the 60-mile walk. Recently, several members did a 10-mile walk on Alki Beach and a 20-mile walk on the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle.

"I don't know if you're ever ready, but I want to do this," Brooks said. "I want to make it happen. I want to make sure others don't have to go through what people close to me have gone through."

Fleet Feet Sports in Bonney Lake is sponsoring another Bonney Lake team for the walk, along with the Seattle Chocolate Company, Super Feet in Ferndale and Brooks Sports in Sumner. Fleet Street Sports coordinated the six-person team.

The four stores provided participants with gear such as shoes, uniforms and hydration bottles for the walk, said Fleet Feet Sports owner Paul Morrison. The retail store is an outfitter for the walk, providing a 10 percent discount to walk participants.

"It is always important to us to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation," Morrison said. "The participants are raising so much money that will greatly help in finding a cure for breast cancer."

Fleet Feet Sports has offered a series of informational clinics open to walk participants in the Puget Sound area about how to prepare for the three-day walk. The next free meeting is at 7 p.m. July 6 at the store, 19685 state Route 410 E. in Bonney Lake, and will focus on last-minute preparations for the walk.

"As long as the Foundation has three-day walks in Washington, we will be helping in any way we can," Morrison said. "We want to build a health conscious community."

Registrations to walk in the event are still being accepted. There is a registration fee of $90. Each participant must raise at least $2,100 in donations to participate. Participants must be at least 16 years old the day of the event and an adult must accompany anyone younger than 18. Event volunteers provide participants with meals, snacks, showers, toilets, tents and entertainment during the three days.

The opening ceremonies for the event are at 6:30 a.m. July 22 at Lake Sammamish State Park, 20606 SE 56th St., in Issaquah. Closing ceremonies will be at 4:30 p.m. July 24 at Magnuson Park at 7400 Sand Point Way NE in Seattle. Spectators for the closing ceremonies should arrive at the park at 3:30 p.m.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is sponsoring a dozen three-day cancer walks across the United States from June to October. The Foundation will receive 85 percent of the net proceeds from the walks to fund breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs. The National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund will receive 15 percent of the proceeds to provide funds for breast cancer initiatives, according to walk Web site (www.the3day.org).

There are more than two million breast cancer survivors in the United States, according to the walk Web site. Also, more than 200,000 women and men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and more than 40,000 people will die from the disease.

To participate in the event, call 800-996-3DAY, or go online at www.the3day.org, and select "Seattle." Donations can be made at the Web site or pledge sheets can be printed from the site.

There are other opportunities to get involved with breast cancer fundraisers throughout the year in the Seattle area, such as the Komen Race for the Cure marathons, Brooks said.

For more information on the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, visit www.komen.org.

Anne Radford can be reached at aradford@courierherald.com.

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