Spaghetti Dinner Benefits Walk For The Cure

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In 1999, Cheryl Wedlake Saylor was in the best of health. The 38-year-old woman ate right and exercised.

Then came the shock: The lump in her breast she found when doing doctor-recommended monthly self-exams.

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Helen Martin and her daughter, Cheryl Wedlake Saylor, are getting ready to participate in the three-day, 60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure.

Doctors tested the lump. It was malignant.

Saylor made the hard decision to give up her breast.

"My daughter is now eight-and-a-half years cancer-free, and I can't think of a better reason for walking in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk," said Saylor's mother, Helen Martin.

The three-day, 60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund Walk that place in Phoenix each year. This year's start date is Nov. 2.

Each day, participants will walk 20 miles, then gather in parks for the night. Walk organizers provide meals, tents to sleep in, guest speakers and entertainment.

At last fall's Komen Walk, Martin stood along the sidelines handing out water and Popsicles, near a "We're here for Cheryl" sign.

"I saw people in good condition and bad walking, because they were a survivor or knew a survivor," Martin said. "There were men walking too, lots of them dressed in pink. There were hugs, high-fives and tears."

Martin wanted to do more.

When a friend's grandson brought a pearl necklace back from Afghanistan, Martin was inspired with an idea -- her way to help.

She and her husband bought $5,000 worth of "A Wish Waiting to Come True" boxes. Each box held a necklace, pendant and an oyster. Each oyster holds a pearl.

She sold them at a booth outside Wal-Mart early in May to raise the $2,200 her daughter would need to walk in the event.

Martin's fellow employees at Wal-Mart donated baked goods.

Most people who stopped by the booth knew someone affected by cancer.

"The participation of my fellow employees and people in town was fabulous. I could not have done it without them," Martin said.

By the end of the day, Martin told her husband she was not going to stand on the sidelines. She would walk with her daughter.

So far, Martin has raised $10,711 with the pearls, earning her second place in the state.

Lisa Cremer and Shari Taillon are on Martin's team, "The Walkin' Robbins." Because Martin donated the cost of the necklaces, $25 per box is entirely tax-deductible.

The next place locals will be able to find the necklaces is at the Moose Lodge on Saturday. A few will be raffled. Others will be for sale.

Greater Payson Moose Lodge member and Wal-Mart co-worker, Bill Newell, is hosting a benefit spaghetti dinner at the Moose Lodge in Star Valley from 1 to 7 p.m., June 30.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. They cost $7 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

Raffle items include a new, but old-fashioned porch rocker, summer wreaths and floral arrangements and a children table and chairs.

All proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure.

Meanwhile, Martin and her team will continue to train six days a week until November.

Although Martin has walked 10 and 15 miles in a day, she said she is a long way from being ready for three days of straight walking.

But, she remains undaunted by the physical and mental challenges of the walk.

"I have an opportunity to honor those who have survived and those who have lost their lives to cancer and ultimately have an impact on awareness and funding for breast cancer research and community outreach programs," she said.

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