When does six feet = 180 miles? When three people are walking to end breast cancer.
At SCJ Alliance, those feet are attached to Lisa Palazzi, Amy Head and Jean Carr.
These three women are participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, a 60-mile walk over three consecutive days to raise funds for breast cancer research and outreach efforts.
“Lisa was the instigator,” said Amy, smiling and pointing at her co-worker.
“In past years I thought about it a dozen times. I had a friend with breast cancer I watched battle it for three years,” shared Lisa.
“The thing is, today she would have survived and not suffered through the treatments the way she did. So much has improved with all the research and advances. I wanted to contribute to that,” Lisa said.
“At SCJ, like in so many offices, we have multiple employees, and employees’ relatives, who have had various types of cancers,” said Jean. “Back in 2009, a colleague at SCJ was diagnosed with breast cancer from her first mammogram at age 40.”
Komen funds more than half-a-million breast screenings annually for low-income women.
“In 2009, we immediately wanted to rally around our co-worker and do the Komen walk, but the timing was off,” continued Amy who was eight-months pregnant at the time.
Instead the office participated in the South Sound Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, and has every year since.
Getting to accomplish that unrealized dream of participating in the 3-Day was part of Amy’s inspiration to sign up, as well a father who died of skin cancer and a renewed commitment to fitness.
Jean, Amy and Lisa decided back in January they were going to do the Komen 3-Day.
“Between the fundraising and training, you really have to know in advance,” said Jean. Each person is required to raise $2,300 to participate.
The urban walk takes place September 19-21 in Seattle. The event is staged from the Seattle Center, complete with a tent city.
“Sleeping there’s not required, so we’re getting a hotel,” said Amy, with Jean and Lisa eagerly agreeing.
Each day begins and ends at the Seattle Center, with about 20 miles in between of walking along skyscrapers, lakes and forests.
Komen is the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research. Breast cancer death rates in the U.S. have dropped by 33 percent since 1990 and the five-year survival rates for early stage cancers now averages 98 percent (versus 74 percent when Komen started in 1982).
At SCJ, Jean is one of the founding principals and a planner, Amy is a principal and an engineer, and Lisa is a Professional Wetlands Specialist and a Certified Professional Soils Specialist.
Each woman has a Komen 3-Day fundraising page; click on their name to make a donation.