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Beaufort County nurses to walk in breast cancer marathon

By Staff
Donations needed for patient care, education and research
By CHRISTINA HALE
Staff Writer
A group of operating room nurses from Beaufort County Hospital who call themselves The High-Mileage Strollers will walk 39.3 miles for breast cancer in May.
The 2008 May Avon Walk for Breast Cancer takes place in Washington, D.C., and covers 26 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday. “It’s thousands of people. A river of pink walking,” said team leader Cindy Alligood on Monday.
The Strollers are Alligood, Donna Kirk, Sue Waters and Barbara VanLandingham.
Before the walk, the four women must train and raise at least $1,800 each for the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. “I feel like we can do it,” Alligood said.
The money helps provide access to care for those who need it, fund educational programs and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures.
Alligood found out about the breast cancer walks in a fitness magazine and asked if anyone wanted to team up. Kirk, Waters and VanLandingham agreed.
As operating-room nurses, all four “see the effects of cancer almost every day of people coming in,” Alligood said. “It … touched my heart.”
The nurses are walking regularly to increase their distance, but must raise the money in order to walk.
Bobby Hodges, owner of Paul Funeral Home of Washington wanted to support the nurse’s efforts and is donating $1,000 said his wife, Betsy Hodges. Betsy Hodges also works at Beaufort County Hospital.
If the walk in Washington, D.C., goes well, the nurses hope to do two or three different walks a year. Walks will take place in nine cities in 2008, according to the Avon Foundation Web site. The closest walk in Charlotte takes place in October. When the nurses decided to walk, it was already too close to October, VanLandingham said.
“We want to raise awareness and show people … that everybody can help. If they are unable to get out there and walk, maybe they could donate,” Alligood said.
Approximately 178,480 women and 2,030 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Just over 40,000 women and 450 men in the U.S. die from the disease annually, according to the Avon Foundation Web site. Every three minutes, there is a new diagnosis of invasive breast cancer and every 13 minutes, a life is lost to breast cancer.
All donations are tax deductible. Donors will receive tax receipts in the mail from the foundation. Checks can be mailed to Cindy Alligood, 664 Betsy’s Elbow Road, Washington, NC 27889. Make checks payable to: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.