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More Than Just a Walk

Breast Cancer Walk pledges exceed goals.

Their goal was to raise $125,000. In the end, 1,000 walkers and more than 80 corporate sponsors did just that at this year’s Walk to Fight Breast Cancer. In fact, they raised $126,000.

List Baker, director of the Office on Women, which sponsors the walk each year, said, “We didn’t have as many walkers this year, but people walked in teams and raised a lot of pledge money. Also, our corporate sponsorships were up. Not counting all of our in-kind contributions, we raised $80,000 in corporate funds.”

The money is used to pay for mammograms for women who could not otherwise afford them. “Over the years, we have been able to serve 2,000 uninsured and underinsured women with mammographies,” said Steve Meyerson, the vice president for development with Inova Health Systems, a sponsor of the walk. “This is a wonderful event, and we are grateful to all of those who have contributed.”

WALKERS REPRESENTED all segments of the community. Alexandria Circuit judge John Kloch has walked nearly every year since the event began. “There are so many people in our community who have been affected by breast cancer,” Kloch said. “I walk to support the survivors in our community and those who have not survived.”

Alexandria mayor William D. Euille is also a regular supporter of the Walk. “Today is National Make a Difference Day,” Euille said. “What better way to make a difference than to raise money to fight breast cancer.”

Breast cancer survivors and those who are still fighting the disease also walked. For the past seven years, Sue Kimball has led walkers in warm-up exercises. This year was no exception, but Kimball has added incentive to raise money to fight breast cancer. On Sept. 11, of this year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I’m a fighter,” Kimball said. “I have had two open-heart surgeries, and I survived. Because of those surgeries, I have to have a mastectomy. I won’t have my breast, but I will still have my heart and my spirit, and I will survive.”

Kimball teaches physical education in the Arlington County Public School system, aerobics classes for pregnant women at Inova Alexandria Hospital, and an aerobics class at the Alexandria YMCA.

“I love working with people and showing them how to stay healthy through good nutrition and exercise,” Kimball said.

She will undergo surgery in early December and plans to be at next year’s walk leading the crowd in exercise.