Beth Wickersham-Whitton (center) poses with her son, Wade Jr., and daughter, Amanda.
When paralegal Beth Wickersham-Whitton, who works at the Greaney Law Firm in Kent, Washington, isn’t interviewing potential clients, researching cases, drafting pleadings, or preparing courtroom exhibits, she’s raising money to help find a cure for breast cancer as a member of the Valley Girls & Guys team. The team walks in the annual Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
Each participant in the three-day, 60-mile walk must raise a minimum of $2,300. Last year, Wickersham-Whitton alone raised more than $10,000, and her team of 152 walkers raised a staggering $324,195—the highest amount of any team in the nation.
When she was just a teenager, Wickersham-Whitton lost her mother, Joanne Wickersham, to breast cancer in 1983. The walk is her way to pay tribute, and she’ll do whatever it takes to raise the money and help find a cure, including wash dogs and cars. She’ll even perform cartwheels, which she did last year for a chance to win $2,000 in a local contest.
“It was the first cartwheel I did in probably 20 years,” said Wickersham-Whitton. “I’m not sure I have too many cartwheels left in me.”
She has the full support of her firm. Not only do her coworkers contribute financially, but they also show up at the walks to cheer for her.
Members of the Valley Girls & Guys team also serve as resources for people in their community who have breast cancer—from providing wigs to women who’ve lost their hair during chemotherapy to making sure breast cancer patients’ names get added to church prayer lists.
The 60-mile walk is brutal. The adrenaline and excitement get walkers through the first day, said Wickersham-Whitton, who’s walked in the 3-Day since 2009. But on the second day, “you wake up and your body aches all over,” she said. Walkers still have two days and 40 more miles to go.
“It seems like a big feat, and it is a big feat,” she said, “but I tell my children it’s a struggle that pales in comparison to going through breast cancer. My dream is to walk until there is a cure. We’re getting awfully close.”
For more information about the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, visit http://www.the3day.org/.
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