Walking for a world without cancer

Photo by Whitney Brown | The Washtenaw Voice

Photos by Whitney Brown | The Washtenaw Voice

By Jenelle Franklin
Editor

Campus was awash with pink on Saturday, Oct. 15, as the American Cancer Society hosted a Making Strides walk in the fight against breast cancer.

148 teams, and roughly 1,146 participants started the race in the Community Park and walked a one and a half mile course through campus, twice.

Jay Kalisky and Yvonne Thurman frame their smiles outside the survivor’s tent on Saturday Oct. 15.

Jay Kalisky and Yvonne Thurman frame their smiles outside the survivor’s tent on Saturday Oct. 15.

Participants raised over $119,000, according to the American Cancer Society website.

Although the 3 mile walk is to raise money to fight breast cancer, the event also honors survivorship. White sashes with “Survivor” in Pink lettering were given out at the survivor’s tent along with information for support.

Joan Finn, the inspiration behind team “Joan’s Friendly Group”, is a survivor who walked with friends and family on Saturday.

“I am a 28 year survivor,” Finn said, “My team is here to support me from all over, one member came from Maryland.”

On Finn’s team was Sheila Scott of Plymouth, a long time friend and supporter.

“We all go to church together, and we all walk together to stay healthy,” Scott said.

Team “Tutus for Tatas,” St. Joseph Mercy Hospital team from floor 11 East came across Huron River Drive to support their patients and community.

“Our floor’s nurses, techs and janitorial staff is all here,” nurse Jessica Ignagni said.

The 11 East floor manager, Dawn Buerkle brought backup.

“I have my three kiddos and husband here to support us today,” Buerkle said. Impressed with the contributions from her staff Buerkle said, “I think it’s awesome that our whole staff came together to fundraise for the walk.”

St. Joe’s 11 East is at the center for local cancer treatment, “It is very nice to support our patients from the oncology unit,” Buerkle said.

Cheerleaders from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Parish and Elementary School in Farmington energized the Making Strides walkers with cheers and words of encouragement.

Cheerleaders from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Parish and Elementary School in Farmington energized the Making Strides walkers with cheers and words of encouragement.

Cheering on the crowd as they rounded the Student Center Building was Our Lady of Sorrows’ cheer team from Farmington Hills. Practicing their routines and shouting encouragements such as “P-I-N-K, let’s go pink and white,” brought smiles and cheers from the walk participants.

“I am the mom of 10 year-old Becca,” Renay Weiss-Stansell said as her daughter did a high kick in the background.

“We are here cheering today because it is their community service project,” Weiss-Stansell said, “I picked this event because right after finishing school I did a making strides walk, and now, ten years later my daughter is supporting the Cancer Society too.”

The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides events take place across the country with a goal to, “raise critical funds that enable the American Cancer Society to fund innovative research; provide free, information and support to anyone touched by breast cancer; and help people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable,” according to their website.

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