We Walk BeCAUSE
We walk together to stand with those going through a diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer, to honor those who have fought breast cancer and won, and to remember those we lost too soon. 100% of funds raised for Come Walk With Me benefit breast health programs at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital.
Here are some of the ways your funds help our community:
- Establish a free/reduced fee mammography program through Her Peace of Mind. For more information call 253-697-4927
- Resource kits for newly diagnosed patients
- Post-surgical camisoles with built-in drainage, provided to patients at no cost
- Wigs for patients in treatment
- Prosthesis programs for under-insured
- Presentations to various community groups on breast health
- Lymphedema classes and support groups
- Exercise and nutrition classes specifically for breast cancer patients
Come Walk With: Joleen
Long before her battle with breast cancer, Joleen Lamay was a huge proponent of Come Walk With Me.
Joleen has spent her entire career (over 20 years) as a physical education teacher and coach at Sumner High School. She would encourage her students to be involved with Come Walk With Me by offering class credit if they participated.
“Although I no longer live in Sumner, I consider myself a local gal. I have always loved the community message celebrated at CWWM, raising funds to help our community,” Joleen says.
The event became much more personal when Joleen was diagnosed with breast cancer herself in August of 2015.
"You never think you have it. I will never forget the doctor’s words, ‘this is not the news we want to share,' she probably spoke for another 15 minutes but I didn’t hear a word after that," Joleen explains.
Fortunately, Joleen had an entire community behind her. Her students and colleagues formed a team in her honor and walked at Come Walk With Me the following October. Joleen credits the power of positive thinking and her huge support network with her recovery.
“I had 16 chemo appointments and besides the first and last (with my mom) I had different people with me at each one. And for those who couldn’t be with me, my mom gave pink bands with my name on them. On bad days people would send me fun photos of themselves wearing the bands,” Joleen explains.
After her last radiation appointment, she took to Facebook and told her supporters that she was cancer-free and they could finally get rid of those bands. She immediately received a barrage of photos of people destroying the bands, she laughs as she describes one photo of a pink band being flushed down the toilet.
One of the most important parts of recovery is to let people help you,” Joleen says, “Cancer is a huge monster and you’ll need people to lean on, they will come out of the woodwork to help you.”
Joleen urges everyone not to let fear get in the way of your health.
“Be alert, be aware, go to the doctor and stay positive!” Joleen urges.
Come walk with Joleen and the rest of the Sumner community on
October 7 as participants walk to fund essential breast health programs such as
Come Walk With: Debra
If you’ve ever attended Come Walk With Me, chances are you’ve seen this motley crew of characters, with their tutus and Viking helmets. As one of the most decorated teams, the Ta Ta Warriors bring energy and lots of pink to Pierce County every October.
Debra Peterson joined the Warriors in 2012 — almost 5 years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She heard about the group through a Pilates class full of other survivors. Debra describes her cancer journey as an individual one but she was very thankful for this group of women.
“Had I not had my Pilates classmates who were fellow survivors, the experience would’ve been pretty lonely. This class was like my support group,” Debra explains.
Her support group convinced her to join the Ta Ta Warriors at Come Walk With Me, and she’s glad she did.
She went from not owning a single article of pink clothing to winning the “most pink” award. Debra is very proud of this accomplishment and continues to collect pink items to add to her ensemble throughout the year.
“The pink all started with a pair of Nike athletic pants. Now I am making tutus, collecting pink boas and buying bras to bedazzle,” Debra laughs.
Like many participants, it is not hard to see that Debra and her friends are fiercely committed to the cause.
Debra describes Come Walk With Me’s energy as a “greatness of spirit.”
“No event compares. I love the camaraderie with all of my friends,” Debra explains, “One year my friend was in a serious car accident and was in a cast. I told her to get herself a wheel chair and I would push her. Sure enough she showed up and I pushed her the whole way.”
The group’s biggest motivator? Walk proceeds stay local.
“I was very fortunate to have resources, but that isn’t the case for everyone. I love that the money stays here,” Debra says.
Come walk with Debra and the Ta Ta Warriors as they battle to fund breast health programs at Good Samaritan Hospital on October 7 at Come Walk With Me in downtown Sumner.