A walk to remember | Walkers hike around Seattle area in Komen 3 Day walk to fight breast cancer
By NAT LEVY
Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
September 15, 2012 · 3:25 PM
Dan Kinley felt helpless.
He watched as his mother suffered through breast cancer for more than five years. The disease eventually took her life, and her son had no idea how he could contribute.
So he walked. And he kept walking.
Kinley has been participating in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk ever since. The walk is another spoke of Komen's wheel to fight and eradicate breast cancer. Kinley knows the pain the disease can inflict on families, so he continues to pitch in.
"It is something I do to keep up the fight," he said.
The three-day walk happens in cities all around the country, and the Seattle area was the focus this weekend. Walkers began the journey at CenturyLink Field in Seattle Friday, Sept. 14, before making the trek across the Interstate 90 bridge over to the Eastside. Throughout the weekend, walkers will hike through Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland. Walkers go 20 miles each day before retiring to a camp put together by Komen with tents, a dining hall and other amenities. Each walker is required to raise $2,300 to walk.
For many of the walkers, the disease has touched their family. Others, like Brian McSweeney, a firefighter from Joint Base Lewis McChord, saw the tragedy unfold amongst friends. Each of his three closest friends lost their mother to breast cancer. So he decided to walk for them, fully dressed in his uniform, with the words "3-Day Captain across" on his helmet in temperatures over 70 degrees.
As the walkers trudged around the Eastside this weekend, they were met by supporters along the way. Many of them also had an experience with the disease, while others were just there to support friends.
Of all those in attendance, Ashlee McKenney and Kim Faretra may have stood out the most. They spent the day Saturday driving to the two rest stops along the way, and then, clad in giant chicken costumes, they danced to Salt 'n' Pepa's Push It on repeat. It was by no means their first round with the suits, having used them several times for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. It gave the walkers a good laugh, and many stopped to pose for pictures. But for McKenney and Faretra, both of Maple Valley, it was their way to show gratitude toward the people fighting to stop breast cancer.
"I think it's important to support your communities because you never know when you are going to be the one to need help," Faretra said.
Walkers were congratulated by family and friends after arriving at Grass Lawn Park in Redmond as part of the Susan G. Komen 3 Day. The stop came after more than 16 miles walked Saturday, Sept. 15. NAT LEVY, Bellevue ReporterContact Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer Nat Levy at email@example.com or 425-453-4290.