In August, three Juneau women will undertake the national Breast Cancer 3-Day walk for the cure, and they are enlisting the community for support.
"No one is safe from breast cancer," said Genevieve McLaughlin, who will walk for her fifth year. "We really want to raise awareness that we can make a difference. We can join together and beat this thing."
McLaughlin, a 15-year Juneau resident, said the community has supported her so much the past five years that she is now addicted to the event.
"It is so rewarding emotionally, spiritually and personally on so many levels," she said.
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, along with the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, hosts about a dozen 60-mile Breast Cancer 3-Day walks each year.
McLaughlin, along with her sister, Lisa Davis, of Syracuse, N.Y., will participate in the three-day walk to be held Aug. 21 to 23 in Twin Cities, Minn. Brenda Bartlett and her sister, Shawna Patten, will walk Aug. 28 to 30 in Denver.
"There are millions of women out there who are diagnosed with breast cancer or who know someone with breast cancer," said Bartlett, who is walking for her second year. "I think it's a really good thing to be aware of."
As all participants in the walk are required to raise $2,300, these three Juneau women - none of whom are cancer survivors - are organizing a luncheon fundraiser.
"The majority of these funds go to aiding women in getting access to care and funding research," McLaughlin said. "I will never know who has benefited from the funds that this community has helped me raise, but I have a sense of pride in knowing that I have helped to make a difference for someone out there."
The luncheon, to be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Flight Deck, formerly Doc Water's in Merchants Wharf, will include food for purchase, Alaskan Brewing Co. beer on tap and live folk music by Rod Crist.
"I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of the Juneau community come out to support us and the fight against breast cancer," Bartlett said.
There also will be a silent auction, which will include a variety of items: jewelry, whale-watching trips, a trip to Taku Lodge, Rie Muñoz prints, handmade afghans and socks, a handmade Turkish rug, Tom Pots pottery and more. And all children who attend will receive a small gift.
"We will be receiving a very generous percentage of the food purchased, and 100 percent of the Alaskan poured," McLaughlin said. "It will be a very exciting event!"
In partnering with another team, the Halibut Bellies, who are walking in Denver, the women hope to reach their goal of $9,200.
"I enjoy hosting these events to show the strength of this community," McLaughlin said. "Juneau is so diverse but united. People need to come and see that they are not alone. We all have know someone that has been affected by this awful disease."
And through it all, McLaughlin remains tenacious.
"Be aware, I do not intend on stopping at walk number five," she said. "I will be back year after year until we find a cure!"
Contact Neighbors editor Kim Andree at firstname.lastname@example.org or 523-2272.