Terri Brodeur breast cancer walk steps off Oct. 1

People are urged to buy and eat locally, so why not donate locally too?

The Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation (TBBCF) can help you do that. This local organization, which donates 100 percent of fundraised dollars to cutting-edge breast cancer research, will hold its largest annual fundraiser, the Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut, Saturday, Oct. 1. Registration is still open with three options for participants: a full, super-half or quarter marathon walk.

Old Saybrook wife, mother and community volunteer Terri Brodeur lost her life in 2005 after a long battle with breast cancer. She left behind three young children and a host of friends and family who honor her memory and work to prevent future losses of mothers, friends, sisters, wives and daughters through the organization named in her honor.

Two-year veteran walker Roseann McGarvey of Bozrah is cautiously hopeful that she'll complete the full 26.2 miles this year.

"You never know," she says. "Last year I trained for the full marathon with friends, and as I was leaving Saybrook Point I tripped and broke my arm. I kept walking for a while and realized I needed to have it attended to. I rejoined my friends in Niantic and walked the last seven miles with them."

McGarvey first walked at age 54 in honor of her father who died of cancer at the same age.

Three-year cancer survivor Pamela Watt of Waterford began her fight with breast cancer in 2008 when she discovered a lump and was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer a month after a normal mammogram.

"In 2008 my friends and family formed a team, Pam's Pink Posse, and walked to support my fight," Watt notes.

In 2009 following months of surgery and intensive treatments, Watt walked the entire marathon distance in the rain. Although the past three years have been "an emotional and physical roller coaster" for her, she continues to train and walk, scheduling her treatments around the event.

She explains, "As a breast cancer survivor, I truly appreciate the support, fundraising and awareness that come with this event."

Although named for Brodeur, TBBCF's mission is based in co-founder Norma Logan's firm belief that all fundraising dollars should go directly to research scientists - a commitment the foundation calls "Logan's Promise." Logan, who succumbed to breast cancer six months after her friend Brodeur, developed "Logan's Promise" out of her frustration with other non-profits she had supported in the past. Logan and a walking group had raised $200,000 for another organization, but found out that $80,000 of that amount went to overhead.

Over the past five years, TBBCF has donated $1.8 million to cancer research efforts based in the Northeast, including the researchers at the Dana Farber Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Organizers hope to see 500 walkers don their sneakers, which would top last year's total of 357 walkers. They also hope to see 200 volunteers support walkers along the route.

Participants who walk the quarter marathon (6.55 miles) must raise a minimum of $200 each; super half marathoners (15 miles) are responsible for a minimum of $250 each; and marathon (26.2 miles) walkers must raise a minimum of $500 each.

This year's TBBCF walk begins with opening ceremonies at 6:30 a.m. at Saybrook Point. The walk begins at 7 a.m. The full marathon will end at Harkness Memorial Park in Waterford; the 15-mile super half-marathon ends at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme; and the 6.55-mile quarter-marathon ends at Saybrook Point. All participants are invited to a closing celebration at Harkness Park at 4 p.m., although finish-line celebrations are planned at the end of each route.

For more information about the 2011 Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation walk, including maps of the walk routes, visit terribrodeurbreastcancerfoundation.org.

A spaghetti dinner fundraiser for TBBCF will be held on Friday, Sept. 30, at 5:30 p.m. at Old Saybrook High School, 1111 Boston Post Road. For details, visit, terribrodeurbreastcancerfoundation.org or call (860) 245-0402.

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