DECATUR – “Eye-Opening.” That’s how 14-year-old cancer survivor Anna Smith described this year’s Come Together Let’s Walk Event.
On Saturday thousands gathered to celebrate the 5th annual Come Together Let’s Walk as they joined the fight against Breast, Ovarian, and Cervical Cancer. The money raised from this event will stay in the Decatur area to support women’s health.
“It felt amazing being up on stage among so many other survivors who are just like me,” said Smith, speaking about the survivor presentation. “Even though most of the participants weren’t present for our battles, it still felt great seeing them clap and support every one of us.”
Anna Smith was diagnosed at just 2 years old, and recently celebrated her 10th year as a survivor on June 6th. This was her third time participating in CTLW. She joined dozens of other women on stage as the Decatur community honored all of their fights and survival against cancer before the race began.
Director of CTLW Cindy Deadrick-Wolfer, says nearly everyone knows a survivor of Breast, Ovarian, or Cervical Cancer and that is why brings people out every year.
“It’s more than raising money, it’s about the camaraderie, support and recognition of the survivors and having an event to acknowledge their battles,” says Deadrick-Wolfer.
That camaraderie, along with a much-needed cool and sunny day, brought nearly 1,600-1,800 participants to this event. It truly was “Not just a walk in the park,” which was the slogan on the survivor t-shirts.
Deadrick-Wolfer added that prizes are handed out to the first, second and third place finishers in the male, female and survivor categories. Unofficial results for Saturday’s race were:
1st Place, Male: Mike Delany, 54 years old- time: 20:44
2nd: Rydon Jalley, 13- 21:02
3rd: Mark Patterson, 33- 21:06
1st Place, Female: Rachel Devereux, 19 years old- 21:12
2nd: Ellen Devereux, 21- 22:15
3rd: Kitty McCarthy- 25:15
1st Place, Survivors: Julie Rotz, 57 years old- 23:41
2nd: Mimi Walters, 55- 28:42
3rd: Kim Belskamper, 55- 35:00