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SWCS students raise money for breast cancer research
|Messenger photo by Andrea Cordle
|Lauren Sarnacki, Mallory and Kathy Lalonde and Joann Wright participate in the 12th annual Walk for the Cure held by Holt Crossing students and staff. Lalonde and Wright are breast cancer survivors.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. In 2012, the society expects to see about 227,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer. This adds up to many women needing treatment.
The students at Holt Crossing Intermediate School wanted to help women with breast cancer. On May 4, the school held its 12th annual Walk for the Cure to support breast cancer research. Each member of the school, students and staff, made a donation to be able to leave the school building and walk the track at Central Crossing High School for one hour.
Lauren Sarnacki, a fifth grade teacher at Holt Crossing, organized the event. She said students purchased raffle tickets, sold T-shirts and made cupcakes to raise funds for this year’s walk. In past years, the students and staff have raised up to $3,000.
“A lot of these kids don’t have a lot of luxuries and it is so nice to see them give,” said Sarnacki. “It shows how compassionate our kids are.”
Joann Wright, a medicine monitor at Holt Crossing, is a breast cancer survivor. In October 2009, she was diagnosed with a common type of breast cancer. She has been cancer free for more than two years.
“This makes me want to cry, it is so great,” said Wright of seeing the 700 plus students participate in the walk.
Grove City resident Kathy Lalonde also participated in the walk. Her daughter, Mallory, is a fifth grade student and asked her mother to participate. Lalonde was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2011. She had surgery seven months ago and just finished chemotherapy treatment.
“You think it will always happen to someone else, until it hits you,” said Lalonde.
The mother said the toughest part of having cancer is realizing you are not invincible.
Wright and Lalonde said the funds raised from events like the student walk really help. They said care centers offer health classes for survivors that teach subjects such as nutrition, exercise and research. Fundraising efforts help to pay for such classes.
“I will always support these programs, because I have seen want they can do,” said Lalonde.
Lalonde is a mother of five. She has started to implement the nutrition aspects of her survivor’s class into her daily life, something her youngest daughter does not always agree with.
“It’s good for you, but it can get annoying,” said Mallory. “Sometimes I just want junk food.”
The Holt Crossing student said it was nice to see her classmates out supporting her mom. She said it was hard to see her mother go through cancer treatment because she could not do all the things she once could.
Now that Lalonde is a cancer free, Mallory said, “I feel a lot better.”
Lalonde said seeing the students gather for a good cause makes her feel joyful.
All proceeds from Walk for the Cure will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Sarnacki said the students at Holt Crossing raised $3,500 this year for Pennies for Patients, a fundraiser for leukemia. They also hold an annual canned food drive.
“These kids really do have giving hearts,” said Sarnacki.
According to the American Cancer Society, except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
One in 36 women diagnosed with breast cancer will die. Research suggests the death rate has declined in recent years, likely due to better treatment and early detection.
There are more than two million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
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