Local women taking part in Epic Walk

BARRY’S BAY – Five local women have committed to walking more than 25 kilometres in one day to raise money for breast cancer care and detection.

Tracey Stamplecoskie, Susanne Cox, Ramona Brown, Margaret Haskins and Hedy Kutchkoskie will be participating in the walk, which is held annually in Ottawa. They will be part of team St. Francis Walkers in the Epic Walk, organized by the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation on September 27.

Each participant raises a minimum of $1,000 and commits to walking a 25-kilometre stretch from the Accora Centre in Ottawa to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Cancer Survivorship Centre.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation Director Toni Lavigne Conway said the local hospital receives 85 per cent of the funds raised. The rest goes to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

“Which is a win-win,” Lavigne Conway said.

The money will go towards the new digital mammography unit, which has already been purchased and that the foundation has committed to pay for over a four-year period. The unit costs more than $450,000.

Team member Susanne Cox is an officer with the Bancroft OPP. She wanted to honour a family member with cancer, so, in past years, she participated in the Epic Walk’s 60-kilometre two-day route.

This is her second year that she is walking the 25-kilometre route.

Cox connected with the hospital members and decided to join the local team this year. She said many residents of Bancroft come to St. Francis for their mammograms.

“We do have lots of people that use the unit up here,” she explained.

The issue of breast cancer hits close to home for fellow teammate Margaret Haskin, who was diagnosed with the disease more than two years ago. This will be the first Epic Walk that Haskin has participated in.

The Madawaska native is a foundation board member as well as a wife, mother of two and grandmother of two.

Get your September 24, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read more of this story.