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Brown, Gridley prepare to walk for a cure

Two local women are training to walk 60 miles in three days later this month.

"I never thought I'd be walking this kind of distance voluntarily," said Alicia Brown.

"I always thought it'd have to be a life or death situation, or my car left me stranded somewhere. I can't believe I'm doing it on my own."

Ms. Brown and her friend, Regina Gridley, have joined a team of women from Atlanta and Statesboro to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk in Atlanta. Presented by Energizer, the annual event raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research and communitybased breast health and education programs.

"I just thought it was a neat thing to do," Ms. Brown said.

"I've had friends that have done it in the past, and I thought it'd be a good way to make new friends, also."

Opening Ceremonies for the Atlanta event starts at 7 a.m., Friday Oct. 22 and ends with the Closing Ceremony at 5: 30 on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field. Walkers cover about 20 miles a day, traveling at their own pace. Hundreds of volunteer crew members support the walkers through the threeday journey, providing meals, refreshments, gear transport, hot showers, portable restrooms, safety on the streets and 24-hour medical services, according to literature provided by Energizer.

Ms. Brown and Mrs. Gridley participated in a training walk at Stone Mountain last weekend. Mrs. Gridley, who has been training since March, said it was the first time their team has walked all together.

"So, it was really neat to meet everybody and put everybody together," she said.

Ms. Brown joined the group only last month, so she hasn't had the opportunity to train as much.

"We did 18 miles on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. And, that just about kicked my butt," she said.

"But I

survived it. So, I guess I'm going to be okay. And I've only had one blister so far."

Because she started out seven months ago walking two miles twice a week, Mrs. Gridley said she wasn't worried about the training part. However, she is starting to get nervous about the fact that they will be sleeping in tents during the event. All participants are paired in small, twoperson pink tents, which will be set up on a field, creating a pink sea.

"I guess you're so exhausted after walking that you won't notice you're in a tent," Mrs. Gridley said.

"We all have little pink earplugs they say we need to wear, because you hear everybody unzipping their tents in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I don't think I'm looking forward to that part of it."

Each participant must raise a minimum of $2,300 to participate. Mrs. Gridley has already raised all of her money. Because Ms. Brown was late joining the group, she is working as hard at fundraising as she has been at training. She created pink koozies with her team's name "Walkers for Knockers" on it that are being sold at Hogie Joe's Sports Bar and Grill.

"They've been selling really well. Everybody wants them," said Hogie Joe's co-owner, Amy Kiel, adding that the koozies cost $4. "Alicia has to bring us more in every few days because we sell out." Hogie Joe's also is having a fundraiser for Ms. Brown all day on Friday, Oct. 15. The Walkers for Knockers team members will act as servers that day, and a percentage of the sales will go to Ms. Brown's "Walk" fund.

For more information, or to make a donation, go to and look up Ms. Brown's name. She also is on Facebook, or donations can be made at Hogie Joe's.

"I just want everybody to join the fight," Ms. Brown said. "Whether they give to me or just give in general. Just help this process of finding a cure."

Web posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

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