Three days, 60 miles, one goal - cure breast cancer
August 11, 2010 - Lisa McGeen is going to need a sturdy pair of walking shoes for this weekend.
The Oxford resident will participate in the Susan G. Komen walk for the cure on Aug. 13-15. The event is a three-day, 60 mile walk that raises money for breast cancer research and community programs.
The opening ceremony will take place at Oakland Community College, 27055 Orchard Lake Rd. in Farmington Hills before making the three-day journey to the Ford World Headquarters, One American Dr. in Dearborn.
In order to prepare for the event, McGeen has spent a lot of time training along the Polly Ann Trail.
"I have trained about 270 miles so far, and the Polly Ann Trail has been fantastic because I don't know where else I could have walked otherwise," she said.
As well as training her body for the rigorous walk, she has been on the fund-raising trail trying to raise money for the organization. In order to walk, the minimum amount needed is $2,300.
So far, she has raised just over $1,400.
There will be a fund-raising evening at Casa Real on Thursday, Aug. 12 where a portion of the entire evening's proceeds will go towards McGeen.
For those unable to attend the event at Casa Real, donations can also be made electronically by visiting www.the3day.org/goto/lmcgeen.
"It is just an amazing organization and an amazing thing to try and stop," McGeen said. "I think that if we can find a cure for breast cancer, that will lead to down the road finding cures for all cancers."
According to McGeen, walking in the event was something she always wanted to do, so she put it on her bucket list.
"It seems like an amazing thing to totally give a weekend of yourself up and the wear and tear on your body is something that is totally outside of you," she said.
It became a must for her after she found out that her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 6, 2009.
"When my mom was diagnosed, it really changed our world," McGeen said. "With cancer, it is something you know and hear about, but you never know how bad it is until it hits close to home."
"It changed my perspective and it put me out there and I said I need to do something about this because I don't want any family to go through what I did last year," she added.
After that, she immediately set out to do her part in the fight against breast cancer.
"This made me take the step and say I am taking it off my list and just do it," she said.
One of the hardest things that McGeen had to do was going to the chemotherapy sessions with her mother, which lasted until three weeks before Christmas.
"It was not only seeing her struggle with it, but also seeing two and three year-olds sitting there," she added. "You know that it is bad. Everyone knows it is bad, but until you see people go from sitting and talking with you to white as a ghost, you don't get it."
Each year, more than 1.3 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 465,000 die from the disease each year.
"In today's society, it seems like you can't even turn around without finding somebody whose mother or grandmother has been affected by breast cancer," she said. "It's scary and I don't ever want my kids to face that."
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.