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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Despite the downpour of rain, a long line of cars waited out the traffic to get off at the Montrose exit on the morning of October 16.

Chicagoans set off early last Sunday to walk for a cause- the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.

The three mile walk along Montrose Harbor represented a celebration of survivorship. 3,500 people turned out for this year’s walk. An estimated eight to ten percent of participators were breast cancer survivors.

Jean Derrico, an executive assistant at General Electric, is one of those survivors. “I know the American Cancer Society does a million of them [walks] for all different types [of cancer], but, of course, this one was pretty personal. At the magnitude of this and how well it’s put together, I’m really impressed with it,” Derrico said.

But more than cancer survivors came out to participate in the event. Music students from VanderCook College Jamie Schoffstall and Sydney Seal came simply because, as Jamie said, “it’s a good cause.” After walking with their fraternity last year, the two decided to sign up again. Jamie and Sydney raised between 200 and 300 dollars for the cause.

Walkers were not required to raise money. But, with every contribution, big or small, the American Cancer Society expects Chicago participants to raise $550,000 by the end of the year. Last year they raised nearly $400,000. So far, the Chicago event has raised $380,000.

The American Cancer Society will continue to collect money from this year’s walk until December 31. In 2010, nationwide, walkers donated more than sixty million dollars to breast cancer research.

The total number of walkers nationwide hasn’t been tallied yet. In 2010, more than 800, 000 people nationwide participated in the walk to fight breast cancer.

Sometimes, though, the donation of time is more valuable than money. DeAnn Chatlosh, a ten year breast cancer survivor, walked to encourage others battling the illness. She shared in the experience with her two daughters. She said, “Everybody just getting together to show survivorship…they [breast cancer patients] can get through this.”

According to their website, the Making Strides Campaign’s main incentive for walkers in joining the cause is “When you raise funds for a Making Strides event, you’re helping create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays – where breast cancer never steals another year from anyone’s life.”

To get involved with Making Strides and find a walk near you, visit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.