Spouse walks 60 miles to help find cure

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Leticia Hopkins
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
"Every little step counts," some meaningful and encouraging words for a Moody spouse who is participating in a three-day, 60-mile walk in Atlanta to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. 

Amy Eastes, spouse of Staff Sgt. Scott Eastes, 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron, will walk Oct. 20-22 in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 2006 Three-Day Series. 

"My friend Liz Wakefield told me about it," said the Georgetown, Ind., native. "I never heard of the Breast Cancer Three-Day before that. I have two aunts who had breast cancer (and are now survivors) and a close friend of our family was recently diagnosed. 

"I'm walking with their names on my shirt," added Eastes. "I am also walking in memory of my neighbor growing up who died of breast cancer." 

While sitting at her breast cancer awareness booth in the Base Exchange, Eastes said she met several people whose lives were touched by a family member or friend who had breast cancer. 

In fact, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, and every 13 minutes, the disease claims another life in the United States, according to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, according to the American Cancer Society. About 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during 2006. 

According to ACS, about 40,000 women will die from the disease this year, and there are about two million women who have been treated for the disease in the U.S. 

For these reasons Eastes entered the walk as part of a three-person team. The team, Chest Quest, is made up of two of her friends and herself. Each member of the team had to raise a minimum of $2,200, totaling $6,600 for the team. 

Eastes was able to accomplish this through fundraisers which included a carwash, donations and a silent auction for various items. 

While the minimum goal was $2,200, Eastes set a personal goal of $3,000 which she achieved Wednesday. 

However, raising the money was only half of getting prepared for the walk. The mother of three also had to start preparing her body for the 60-mile trek. Each participant is scheduled to walk an average of 20 miles each day. 

"I try to walk four to six miles a day," said Eastes. "(The foundation) gives you a training schedule where two days a week you do some kind of cardio, like cross-training or aerobics. (You have to do) something other than just walking since it's such a long distance and you have to get your body ready for it." 

Even though the idea of covering 60 miles on foot seemed to be overwhelming, Eastes said the possibility of finding a cure is more important. 

"Everyone I've talked to said (the walk is) a life-changing experience," she added.
Even if she takes next year off from walking, Eastes said she plans to stay involved in the fight against breast cancer. 

"To think if we can raise money now to help with research and awareness, (maybe) our kids (won't) ... have to worry about it," said Eastes. "That would be awesome." 

Anyone interested in helping find a cure for breast cancer has the opportunity to donate through the Combined Federal Campaign. There are various organizations helping with the fight against breast cancer, including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.