Following months of training, six ladies will be travelling to Atlanta to walk 60 miles to raise money for breast cancer research.
Every year, tens of thousands of people participate in the 60 mile, three day walk to raise money for the Susan G. Komen trust, which uses the money to do research and find the cure for breast cancer. The walk is conducted in cities across the US.
Sharon Smith decided that she wanted to the walk because it was a wonderful, tangible way to raise money for a worthy cause. And walking with so many thousands of people to find the cure is inspiring.
But walking 60 miles over three days requires training. So for the last five months, Mrs. Smith has been walking with her training partner several times a week.
‘On weekends, my [training partner] and I will get up on 4 am and walk for four or five hours,’ said Mrs. Smith. ‘My son sees me get up and he says – ‘Mom, I think you are crazy.’ ‘
Mrs. Smith’s regular training partner is Joyce Shaw-Macey. Other participates who have been training for the walk include Denise Frazier, Gina Conolly, Faith Ebanks and Wilme Parchment. The ladies have called their group ‘Team Cayman’ and have had t-shirts printed up to help promote their efforts.
Together, the Team Cayman ladies have raised over US$21,000. While this amount far exceeds the US$2,300 minimum per person, the Team Cayman’s goal was to raise a total of $23,000.
Most of the money raised for the cause has come from individuals and businesses, which have added up quickly, said Mrs. Smith.
Team Cayman has been able to raise so much money even during tough economic times because most people have known a woman who has suffered or even died from breast cancer. Many of these women are friends, mothers, sisters, neighbours and giving money to find a cure for this disease is a small thing for most people, said Mrs. Smith.
Team Cayman chose to do the walk in Atlanta because it was relatively close and the dates were convenient.
The Atlanta walk starts on 23 October and continues for the next two days. Each day, thousands of women will walk 20 miles.
She was careful to note that the three day walk is not a race. People can choose to walk the route in a couple hours or all during the day. All along the way, there are beverage stops and a place to stop for lunch.
Even before Mrs Smith has gotten on the plane for Atlanta, she is already making plans for next year’s walk. She wants to get at least 10 or more people committing to do the Susan G Komen walk.