A little pink goes a long way during Breast Cancer Awareness month and a swath of it will strut its way through the streets of Cupertino on Saturday morning led by a small group of women who ask all of you to join them in a measure of support.
A group of Cupertino women—known as team Never Give Up—are training for a three-day Walk for a Cure in San Diego next month. To raise awareness locally for breast cancer the group decided to incorporate part of their regular training program a loop between all five high schools in the Fremont Union High School District. And they want the community to come out and support them by joining them for all or part of the walk, or simply greet them at one of the high schools.
“Wear pink and bring a water bottle,” says Alysa Sakkas, member of Never Give Up to those who want to go along for the distance.
Never Give Up includes Sakkas, Carrie Reichenberger, Cathy Lynam-Rohrs, Kristine Brandt, Lexie Palacio, Kellie Palermo, Karen Ramos, and Julienne Sirico.
Saturday’s walk will include Sakkas, Reichenberger and team captain Lynam-Rohrs, plus a number of other supporters—women and men—who have already said they’d join the women for all or part of the walk. At last count there were a couple dozen who showed interest.
But team Never Give Up hopes for a huge turnout because to them, it’s all about awareness of the disease that Sakkas herself is a survivor.
More awareness leads to more discussion and eventually less stigma, and the better off we all are because pretty much everyone is touched in one way or another by cancer.
“I started Susan G. Komen 30 years ago based on a promise I made to my sister and best friend, Susan G. Komen. She died of breast cancer at the young age of 36, leaving behind a husband and two small children. It was a time when the words ‘breast cancer’ were never spoken out loud, and many women died quietly and alone,” writes Nancy Brinker, CEO and Founder of Susan G. Komen to those who participate in Walk for a Cure.
“We’re trying to bring awareness to what we’re doing and give people a way to get involved without (having to commit to an entire program),” says Reichenberger.
The group—which may be accompanied by a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s escort—will start the walk at 7:30 a.m. at Cupertino High School, then hit Fremont, Homestead, and Monta Vista and Lynbrook high schools, then *circle back to Cupertino High School. (The route and approximate arrival points is available in a pdf attached to this article.)
They anticipate the more than 14-mile walk to take about five hours.
“We always do a pretty long walk on Saturdays,” Sakkas says.
For their regular weekday training each woman has her own schedule and training route, but often they are joined by their husbands or other supporters, Sakkas says.
The three-day walk results in a total of 60 miles walked, something that requires a fair amount of training, Sakkas says.
Some in her group have followed the Susan G. Komen organization’s training program and found it to be successful. Sakkas, a fit regular walker, has her own training regimen that almost always includes upwards of 50 miles of walking each week—sometimes more.
Attached to this article is a map and approximate times the group will follow for its FUHSD Saturday walk. All are encouraged to participate in whatever manner each chooses, and Never Give Up tentatively plans to hold one or two more support walks in and around Cupertino in the coming weeks so check back for more details.
A breast cancer fact sheet and a letter from Susan G. Komen founder, Nancy Bricker, are attached to this article.
*Editor's note: The original version of this article incorrectly indicated the end point of the walk. The group will circle back to Cupertino High School. We apologize for any confusion.