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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Teachers walk to support Susan G. Komen For the Cure

Science teachers Jenny Garcia and Kelly Nicholson were among the thousands of people who donned pink tutus and face paint to participate in the 60-mile Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day for the Cure walk from Sept. 9 to Sept. 11. The walk started off in San Francisco, went to Berkeley, and on the last day, concluded through the Golden Gate Bridge.

The two collectively raised about $6,000 for the foundation. Both teachers have family members who were diagnosed with breast cancer, which was one of the factors that drove them to participate in this walk. Garcia’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years ago, and Nicholson’s mother passed away due to the cancer.

“Breast cancer impacts a lot of people, and I hadn’t really thought about it until my sister got [breast cancer], then it was a case of doing something to help find a cure for this, so she doesn’t have to go through this again,” Nicholson said.

The long hours of walking were passed by chatting with other participants, since iPods and phone conversations were prohibited. Saratoga High teachers Seema Patel and Laressa Ridge also were there to cheer them on.

Although it was a diverse group of walkers, Nicholson said that they were all unified through one cause— to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer.

“There is a kind of feeling of community that you get with you’re with people who are all focused on a cause,” she said.

This is Garcia’s second time doing the walk. Two years ago, she did the same walk with a group of teachers from Saratoga High. Although Nicholson was not part of this group then, she did show up and walked a few miles with them to cheer them on.

“My sister did it last year, and I walked a bit with her, and that was really fun, so I decided to go ahead and do it myself,” Nicholson said.

In addition to having to raise at least $2,300, they were presented with a rigorous training schedule to prepare for the walk. Starting in May, the participants trained by walking small three- to five-mile walks, and on the weekends, would walk up to 18 miles in a day.

Nicholson, with previous experience from running five marathons, admits that there is a big difference between the two.

“It’s very different. In marathons, in four hours, you’re done, but walking 20 miles, is 8 hours. And when you get up [the next morning] you have to do it again.”

Though the experience thoroughly tired them out, both teachers were inspired during the walk.
“It was a really humbling experience. There were women there who just got off chemo. There was a [seven months] pregnant woman there. So, whenever I felt like I couldn’t go on, I’d go OK, if she could do this I could do this,” Garcia said.

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