Team of local students gearing up for breast cancer walk

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WATERTOWN — The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer local chapter will be holding a walk at 10 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Watertown Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall.

The event will see students from various north country school districts taking part in order to raise money to increase awareness for the deadly disease.

Twenty-four students are from the Watertown City School District, one is from General Brown, and four are from Immaculate Heart Central School.

In leading up to the walk, the students, whose team name is Real Kids Wear Pink, will be wearing pink for a full month, beginning Friday.

Stephanie Sutton, who has been on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Committee for 20 years dating back to her time in Boston, has been involved for 11 years in Watertown.

Lucy Johnson, Sutton’s daughter and cocaptain of the Real Kids Wear Pink team, is an eighth grader at Case Middle School and has been involved since she was about 4.

Two years ago, the walk was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, a step program was held in which people walked on their own time and counted their steps so they could continue to fundraise.

Twelve kids joined then, and the number involved gradually increased.

Last year, the team raised a little more than $17,000, and this year members are hoping to raise more than $18,000.

The money raised all goes to the American Cancer Society for patient support services and to research.

“(Breast cancer has) affected way too many people, and it’s taken way too many lives, and it’s hard on a lot of families,” Johnson said. “The money will help the patients and help us learn how to stop it from progressing any further.”

People can either sign up individually or in teams.

Sutton and Johnson have had family members who have had breast cancer, something that makes doing the fundraising a little more special to Johnson.

“For the research, it could possibly help them, too, and other people so they don’t have to go through the same thing,” she said.

Having her friends by her side in the walk means a lot to Johnson.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I’m glad that more people, especially young kids have learned about it because I feel it’s not something people talk about very often, and this helps other kids learn and maybe helps other people realize that they can get out there and help, too.”

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