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October is the time to walk for a cure

Each year, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation hosts several three-day fundraising walks to commemorate its cause. This October, for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the walk will be held in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Washington, D.C.

Social studies teacher Lynne Navarro is a regular three-day walk member and supporter of breast cancer awareness. “The first walk I did was in 2001,” Navarro says. “My mom had breast cancer when I was thirteen, so I’ve always known a lot about [it].” Since then, Navarro has attended seven fundraising walks. The three-day walk will not be held in the Bay Area this year, but Navarro plans to attend the 2014 walk in San Francisco.

According to Navarro, each participant has to raise a minimum amount of money during the walk-a-thon. Individual attendees try to collect $1,000 to $2,000, whereas fundraising teams of several people aim for $10,000 and above. “On the walks I’ve been on, we used to just make things and sell them—like jewelry, scarves or bags,” Navarro explains.

The walk is 60 miles in total at 20 miles a day. “When I walked in San Francisco, usually the first day we would start at the Cow Palace and then set up camp on Crissy field, which is this huge field near the Golden Gate,” Navarro said. “We had our tents in pink. We had showers in trucks, dining tents, and medical tents.” Each day, the walkers trek around the city in a loop and return to the camping grounds at night. “The community really comes out and cheers,” Navarro said with a smile.

Overall, Navarro is glad that October commemorates breast cancer awareness. In terms of raising awareness outside of fundraising, she suggests that people stress the importance of “self-exams, mammograms, a low-fat diet, no alcohol or smoking—just basic things.”

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