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Long road for cancer-fighting team



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From left, Jeeping for Jugs team members Ryan Kimler, Cher-Ray Kimler, Heather Roberts, and Derek Roberts take a break during the 3 Day walk. (click for larger version)
August 24, 2011 - Heather Roberts walked away from the 2011 Michigan Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Detroit with four blisters and a toenail ready to fall off.

It was a piece of cake compared to last year, said Roberts, member of the Clarkston-area team Jeeping for Jugs along with her husband Derek Roberts, and Cher-Ray and Ryan Kimler.

"Then the count was 14 blisters and a toenail on the same toe," Heather said. "There was tremendous support from people of all ages, lots of dogs with pink accessories and even two ponies and a tortoise."

The team raised $9,830, with more still coming in.

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"Thanks to Dr. Edward Lis of Michigan Center for Orthopedic Surgery, the Macias family and Miner family for taking care of my children, and Glori Macias for her support both in fund raising and my broken ankle (which was healing the last 10 weeks)," Heather said.

About 1,500 walkers raised over $4.1 million for cancer research and education programs.

The walk was Aug. 12-14, starting in Novi, and ending 60 miles later in Dearborn.

"We walked through Novi, Northville, Livonia, Plymouth, and Dearborn," Heather said. "The weather was good Friday and Saturday. The storm hit camp Saturday night and many left camp the rest of us waited to see if we would be evacuated to a local school. The buses were all on stand by at camp. Fortunately, the storm blew over."

Heather lost friends to cancer and several others are affected by it, including Cher-Ray, a two-time cancer survivor.

"It comes closer to home every day whatever we can do, we'll do," Heather said. "It's something very important to my family. It's an ongoing thing now, to stay healthy and take care of your self. We walk everywhere."

Heather, 44, walked in 2010, and Cher-Ray, 28, and Ryan, 33, walked in 2009. This was the first 3-Day for Derek, 41. The entire team all completed the 60 miles.

"Men and women, young and old, this disease has no boundaries," Heather said.

For more information, check www.3day.org.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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