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Women walking for breast cancer research

Five Lincoln County women hope to “Bust The Bank” during theirefforts to bring attention to breast cancer prevention and raisefunds to attend a 60-mile awareness walk in Texas.

Margarette Roberson, Leigh Ann Martin, Leanne McCaffery, AllisonPittman and Shannon Smith hope to raise $15,000 in donations toattend the Breast Cancer 3-Day awareness walk in Dallas-Fort WorthOct. 26-28. The event is hosted by a partnership of the Susan G.Komen for the Cure Foundation and the National Philanthropic TrustBreast Cancer Fund.

“All of the team members have a history of it in their family,”said Roberson, a breast cancer survivor who learned last week hersister was also diagnosed with the disease.

The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk hosted to bringawareness to the need for prevention of the disease and to raisefunds for its cure.

“This is specifically to find a cure for breast cancer and willalso fund free mammograms for women who can’t afford it,” Robersonsaid.

The women said they were optimistic about the challenge and havealready begun to train for the grueling event.

“We’ll do 20 miles a day for three days,” Martin said. “We arewalking an average of six to seven miles a day now andcross-training as well.”

Roberson agreed.

“It’s going to be, easily, the hardest and most rewarding thingI think we’ll ever do,” she said.

Each night of the three-day event, the women will camp in tentsalong the route.

“We’ll have to set it up each night and pack it up everymorning,” Roberson said.

Although it requires $15,000 in donations to participate in theevent, the women hope to be able to amass much more to fund breastcancer research. The team organized in March and has raisedapproximately $3,000 to date, she said.

“We’re just now really getting started to do our fundraising,”Roberson said.

The fundraising push will begin with a garage sale Aug. 11 onBrookway Boulevard next to to Brookway Market Basket. Monetarydonations and those of items to sell are welcomed, she said.

The team will also establish a booth at the Old Brook Festivalin September to pass out breast cancer awareness literature. Thewomen will sell jambalaya, jewelry, T-shirts and piggy banks forchildren to paint at the booth.

Continuous efforts to raise funding include the sale of T-shirtswith the “Bust The Bank” team logo and beaded jewelry, and a bankaccount has been established in the team’s name at Pike NationalBank, Martin said.

Donations or purchases of T-shirts or jewelry may be made bycontacting team members Roberson at (601) 695-3392, Martin at (601)757-1078 or McCaffery at (601) 757-1499.

The women are also trying to dispel the myth that breast canceronly occurs in women. According to Komen Foundation statistics, mencan also develop breast cancer, although less than one of every 100cases in the U.S. occurs in men.

This year, more than 200,000 women and men will be diagnosedwith breast cancer and more than 40,000 will lose their lives tothe disease, according to the Komen Foundation. A woman isdiagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes and the diseaseclaims another life every 13 minutes.