Lifestyle

Fight breast cancer with 3 Day Walk

Stephanie Squires at one of the “pit stops” during the 3 Day Walk in 2006. - Courtesy photo
Stephanie Squires at one of the “pit stops” during the 3 Day Walk in 2006.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Gas prices are up, food prices are up and charitable donations are down — a problem for 21-year-old Stephanie Squires.

Squires, a 2005 Decatur High School graduate, will participate in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3 Day Walk for breast cancer next month. It will be her fourth year participating. Each walker must raise at least $2,200.

This year has been the most difficult to raise the funds, Squires said. She has initiated a letter writing campaign to almost everyone she knows — the same strategy she uses every year.

“Everything from my doctors to my orthodontists to Starbucks baristas,” she said of her mailing list. “People just aren’t wanting to give me money this year.”

So far, Squires has raised $565. Ninety percent of the funds go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The rest goes to the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

With nearly $2,000 left to raise, Squires is expanding her mailing list this year and sending out reminder letters. She may organize a fundraiser on the Seattle University campus, where she is a student, when classes start this fall.

“I’m kind of shocked at my lack of success this year, but I’m going to get the $2,200 one way or another,” Squires said.

“Our economy’s not in the most stable place right now and I understand how it’s difficult for people to donate,” she said. “At the same time, I’m going to keep asking them year after year because there’s not a cure for cancer yet and I’m not going to quit walking until there is.”

Squires said she was motivated to participate in the 3 Day Walk after seeing a commercial on television four years ago. She attended an informational meeting at a Federal Way library and was inspired.

“I thought it was just a really good way to give back and bring awareness to the cause,” she said.

She is partially motivated by the desire to honor a family friend who died of breast cancer. One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, Squires noted. Every 13 minutes, a breast cancer patient dies.

“That’s a lot of kids who are growing up without a mother. That’s a lot of husbands who are losing their wives,” she said. “It just needs to be stopped.”

Contact Margo Hoffman: mhoffman@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

For more information about the 3 Day walk or to donate, visit http://08.the3day.org/goto/stephsquires

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