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‘˜Breast Friends’ fight for lives, need donations

A local group of 13 women will walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-day event to fund breast cancer research. They need the community’s support to raise the $2,300 required for each teammate.  The team, called Breast Friends for Life, includes team captain Kelly Stiles, Heather Smith, Katrina Barman, Missy Sammons and Janet Huggins, all of Pike County, as well as Lisa Gorski, Kristin Davis, Miriam Scholz, Carina Dickerson, Amy Achenbach, Alicia Waddail, Logan Turgis and Courtney Holloway. Sammons is walking for her mother Phyllis Cooper. Barman is walking for her sister-in-law Valerie Culkin. Both relatives are currently battling breast cancer.  ’I wanted to join the walk this year to show my support for several friends who have been affected by this devastating disease,’ said Heather Smith. ‘I have friends who lost family members to breast cancer and some who are in the fight of their lives. I also walk, in hopes of finding a cure, for the one in eight women breast cancer will affect in the future.’ The team is training for the 3-day, 60 mile walk using a 24-week Susan G. Komen guide to prepare for it. In addition to training, each team member is raising funds to reach the required $2,300 per teammate. To donate, go to, and click Donate to a Participant, then choose a participant name or type in the team name Breast Friends for Life Atlanta 2014. The team plans to sell T-shirts to raise funds for the event at Curves in Zebulon.  ’There’s nothing like it, that’s for sure,’ said Stiles. ‘You can’t physically or mentally prepare for it. You have to have faith and lean on the support of friends and fans. They have cheer stations along the way with people giving out things like lip balm, tissues and other items to use along the way. They all tell you ‘˜Thank you,’ and you just don’t know why until later.’ The Breast Friends have 13 weeks left to reach their goals before the event kicks off in Atlanta Oct. 17-19.   ‘We’ll be walking 60 miles over three days. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day provides a place to stay in a tent city,’ said Smith. ‘There they provide a place to shower and sleep. We can also stay in an area hotel if we choose.’ Seventy-five percent of proceeds raised fund Susan G. Komen’s research and training grant program and large public health outreach programs for women and men facing breast cancer. The remaining 25% helps fund local community and affiliate support and outreach programs.

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