Take a Hike for Breast Cancer Awareness

By Madison Reeley, WHK Student Intern; photos by Marie Haughey, Staff Writer
Participants leave the first checkpoint with water and pamphlets.

Participants leave the first checkpoint with water and pamphlets.

People came in groups of two, four, and six, decked out in pink to walk 1.3 miles as part of the fall Take a Hike event, kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month on the NCI at Frederick campus.

About 60 employees of the Frederick National Lab and NCI at Frederick registered at the sign-in table, where—in addition to learning about the benefits of walking and its importance in living a healthy lifestyle—they learned about breast cancer and cancer prevention.

Those who completed the course and finished the Poster Puzzler challenge (which involved finding words on objects located around the course) also qualified for a grand prize drawing. Each of the six winners could choose one of several prizes—a combination knapsack/chair, a HydraCoach Intelligent digital water bottle, CorePlus Reformer exercise bands, or a Proctor Silex compact grill.

“We want to show people that being healthy can be fun and it’s not all hard work,” said Angela Morales of Occupational Health Services (OHS).

Other items were given by the event sponsors who flanked the sign-in table. To the right, a representative from the Frederick County Health Department handed out pamphlets, brochures, and flyers about breast cancer. The materials included information about eligibility for breast cancer screening and statistics such as “one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer.”

On the other side, Frederick Foot & Ankle gave away ChapStick, tote bags, and information about their services, but their most popular giveaway was no-tie shoelaces, elastic laces that lock into place so wearers never have to tie them.

Other sponsors included the Recreation and Welfare Club, Anegada Delights Caribbean Cuisine, and OHS.

Participants also received gifts like breast cancer pins, key chains, and stress grips in the shape of breast cancer ribbons at checkpoints along the hike. Many participants asked about a longer course than the 1.3-mile one that was mapped out, though some of the new walkers joked about getting lost on the course as it was.

“I’m glad I didn’t lose my directionally challenged coworkers,” said Stacy Taylor after completing the walk.

Hikers enjoyed blue skies and a temperature around 75 degrees, whereas in previous years they had to go out bundled in coats due to colder weather. This year, participants could walk the course without even a coat, and unlike the summer Take a Hike event, there was no extreme heat to cause the hikers discomfort.

“They picked a perfect day to walk,” said a participant to his companions.

Participants walking the first leg of the course. Almost everyone was decked out in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A group of participants nears the end of the course.