Theresa Carter of Elyria and Erin Byrne of Wellington head west
on Hilliard Boulevard Saturday afternoon as part of the Susan
G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day walk. The two were making their
way to the 3-Day campsite at the Westlake Recreation Center.
(West Life photos by Larry Bennet)
executive’s team raises $24K to fight breast cancer
By Kevin Kelley
Published August 5, 2009
may have seen them this past weekend — hundreds of people, most
dressed in pink T-shirts, walking through the Westshore.
They were participants in the Susan G. Komen Breast
Cancer 3-Day walk. Taking place in 15 cities nationwide, the Breast
Cancer 3-Day is a series of three-day, 60-mile walks that raise
millions of dollars for breast cancer research, education and community
Westlake resident Pat Kendig was one of the participants.
Her team of nine, who called themselves “Pat’s Breast Friends,”
The team, which consisted of her sister, daughter
and friends, raised money from other friends, Kendig said.
“I sent out e-mails to send to other people,” Kendig
said of her fund-raising methods.
Kendig, who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer
in December 2004, participated in the 3-Day for the past three years.
When it was announced in 2007 that the 3-Day, which
began in 2003, was being introduced in Cleveland, Kendig considered
participating but concluded that walking 60 miles in just three
days might be too taxing. The upfront requirement that each participant
raise $2,300 also seemed daunting, she said.
But that same afternoon, Pat’s sister, Jean, called
her up and asked if she was going to be in the walk. That decided
it for her, she said.
Tthe 3-Day campsite at the Westlake Recreation Center, where
dozens of participating teams pitched tents.
Over the past three years, Kendig’s teams have raised
nearly $50,000 for the fight against breast cancer.
Why is the 3-Day worth the effort?
“Unless you’ve had someone tell you that you have
cancer, you don’t really quite understand the impact it has on you,”
said Kendig, who was successfully treated with surgery and radiation.
Noting that one in eight women will get breast cancer,
Kendig said she hopes organizations like Komen will soon eradicate
“I don’t want to have these walks anymore,” she said.
“We have to stop this.”
with her daughter, Cathy, son-in-law Tim Richard, and grandsons
Patrick and Evan. (Photo courtesy of Jim Connole)
The toll of the disease is not far from Kendig’s consciousness.
At the 3-Day camp at the Westlake Recreation Center, a remembrance
tent featured photos of previous participants who had succumbed
to the disease. And Kendig spoke of a friend’s daughter in her early
30s with two kids who recently died of breast cancer.
But the 3-Day, which is organized by the Susan G.
Komen for the Cure, also brought a sense of camaraderie, with Kendig
telling of reunions of friends who first met at the event marking
increasing years of survivorship.
Kendig was also touched that her home city posted
a sign welcoming the Komen walkers, something no other city did.
And those motorists who honked in support of the walkers brought
encouragement as well, Kendig said.
“It gives you the lift that you need,” she said, especially
at mile 17 or 18.
On Friday, Kendig and the other 3-Day participants
walked 22 miles from downtown Cleveland through Lakewood, Rocky
River and Westlake. On Saturday, it was another 21 miles traversing
Westlake and Bay Village. Sunday, the walk went for 17 miles through
Westlake, North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township before
reaching the closing ceremonies at the County Fairgrounds in Berea.
Although she reported being sore Monday after three
days of walking, Kendig said this year’s walk was a bit easier than
pervious ones through East Side communities.
“This year, it was really wonderful because in these
communities there’s lots of shade,” said Kendig, who is CEO of U.S.
Communications and Electric.
In addition to the past three 3-Days, Kendig participated
in the Komen Race For the Cure in 2006 and will volunteer for this
year’s event, which is scheduled for September.
For more information about the Breast Cancer 3-Day,
go online to www.the3day.org.
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