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Local grads fight for a cure in D.C.
|Westland High School graduates Amy DeWood, Jessica Lang-Newbury and Alli Wiley-Arney (left to right) will walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure race in Washington D.C.
Three local women are raising money and awareness to fight against breast cancer.
Alli Wiley-Arney and Jessica Lang-Newbury from Galloway, along with Amy DeWood from Grove City, are on a mission to raise $7,000 for the 3-Day for the Cure walk in Washington, D.C. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds from the event are invested in breast cancer research and community programs. The 2010 walk will take place Oct. 8-10.
The women have been battling the disease since high school. Arney’s aunt, Martha Ellis died from the disease in October 2004.
“My Aunt Martha was amazing; I always wanted to be like her. She was beautiful, funny and helped form my love of shopping. I still cannot believe she was taken from us at only 46 years old. She inspired hope and courage to my family even when she was taking her last breath,” Arney wrote on her Susan G. Komen donation page.
Newbury’s mom, Lisa Shepherd, was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost the battle in 2007.
“I watched her hair fall out, helped her when she was too sick to get out of bed and battle for her life for over 10 years,” Newbury wrote about her mom on her Susan G. Komen donation page.
Newbury was diagnosed in March 2009 at age 26, and is fighting her own battle against the cancer.
“My mom shaped who I am today and also how I handled my own diagnosis of breast cancer,” Newbury wrote.
Newbury is currently in remission.
“This is very real for us. It’s a really strong cause for us,” DeWood said.
The three were in marching band, symphonic choir, show choir and drumline together.
They graduated from Westland High School in 2002 and have remained close friends. In the past five of six years, at least one of the girls has participated in the Race for the Cure in Columbus. This will be the girls’ first year going to the 3-day for the Cure event in Washington, D.C.
DeWood came up with the idea for the three-day race last Christmas when she was in Cleveland and saw the previews on TV.
“I thought it would be a great thing to do.” DeWood said.
There have been various fundraising events the girls have put together including a yard sale, a cook-out, a volleyball tournament, and most recently the pink tie affair.
The pink tie affair, a benefit concert, took place Aug. 7, at St. Cecilia Church featuring Swing’s the Thing Big Band. It also included dinner and a silent auction. The event raised approximately $1,700.
“It was a really good crowd and the band really went above and beyond. They did two other events and still showed up to donate their time to our cause.” Arney said.
So far, the three friends have raised $6,000. They are asking the community to come together in support in the way of prayers, words of encouragement, and/or donations.
If you would like to support the women on their journey to fight breast cancer, donations can be made by going to the3day.org. Then click on donate to a participant and either type in one of the girls’ names or type in their team name, I Heart Jess.
“We asked people to give whatever you feel like you can give even if it’s just a dollar because it will make a difference,” Arney said.
Follow their progress towards their $7,000 goal and check out pictures from the event on their blog, the3dayadventure.blogspot.com/.
“I promise I will keep raising money until a cure is found, in Memory of Martha the Brave, Lisa the Strong… and now in honor of Jessica the Survivor,” Arney wrote on her donation page.
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