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You do not have to be a cancer survivor to participate in the annual St. Vincent Women of Hope Walk. To qualify, you just have to hope for the best health care for anyone with the disease.
Terri Everage, an 11-year survivor of breast cancer, is leading a team from Jennings County who will participate in this year’s event Oct. 6 at Lyons Park in Zionsville.
“It’s a great celebration. There are people walking who have never had cancer, and there are people walking on canes and rolling by in wheelchairs,” Everage said. “There are people cheering the walkers all along the way. It’s a happy day for everyone. It is a day for hope.”
Participation in the event is free, but the Walk of Hope is designed to raise money through sponsorships and private donations. Though the annual event is during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the profits assist both male and female patients of all types of cancer.
The Walk of Hope culminates a year of fundraising efforts by St. Vincent Foundation.
Last year, more than $375,000 was raised to assist cancer patients, with some of the money earmarked to help pay for mammograms for people without insurance who can’t afford to pay for the test, Everage said.
Participants have their choice of participating in a 15-mile walk, a 3-mile walk or a 1-mile walk. Participants in the 15-mile walk are encouraged to try to raise $1,000 for the cause. There is no minimum donation for the shorter walks.
Men and women and school-age children are eligible for the walks. Young children in strollers also can join in. Individuals and teams are invited to participate, as well.
All walkers are guaranteed a T-shirt if they register by Monday. Registration on the day of the event will begin at 8 a.m. Activities begin at 9 a.m.
There are several activities open to the public, including a health fair with free health screenings for the whole family.
Activities designed for children include a bounce house, face painting and games. There also will be vendors and live entertainment.
“They call it the Village of Hope, and there are many things for people to do even if they do not want to be a part of the walks. The best thing about the day, though, is the camaraderie. No matter what stage of their journey in the fight against cancer they are in, people can join together to celebrate the truth that there is hope,” Everage said.
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