Cancer survivor will walk 60 miles in three days

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By Kate Darnell

Sharon Fryman is going for a walk - a 60-mile walk.

Over a course of three days, Oct. 23-25, Fryman will step over 60 miles of Atlanta as part of the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk.

“This year, I was like, I’m doing this,” Fryman said.

A four-year breast cancer survivor, Fryman is raising  over $2,000 for the event.

Last year alone, the event raised a total of $110,845,202 benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

“So many women are touched by it,” Fryman said about breast cancer.

Two hundred thousand women were diagnosed with breast cancer last year, Fryman said.

Diagnosed on Nov. 5, 2004, at age 42, Fryman had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer from one of her breasts.

Thirty-nine radiation treatments followed.

“I’ve been good to go ever since,” Fryman said, adding that it has almost been five years since her diagnosis.

For cancer survivors, five years being cancer-free is a good sign that the cancer will not return.

“In the back of your mind, you’re wondering if it will come back,” Fryman said. “...I’ll be thinking about that on my walk.”

And it will be a 60-mile walk that Fryman never thought she would do.

“I never even dreamed I would be doing something like this,” she said.

It was Fryman’s granddaughter who encouraged Fryman to take the many steps to help erase breast cancer.

“She looked at me and said, ‘Do you think I’ll have breast cancer?’” Fryman said.

It was a moment Fryman said she will never forget.

“That’s my drive - to make sure they don’t have to worry about breast cancer... that it will be a thing of the past,” she said.

Fryman said her four grandchildren also accompanied her on her training walks.

Part of a 24-week training program, Fryman said she is currently walking three miles each day, eventually walking 18 miles a day closer to the race dates.

“It’s all about having that goal,” Fryman said about the training process.

During the three-day, 60-mile walk, Fryman will walk an average of 20 miles a day, stopping for meals and to rest.

“I’m hoping for really cool weather,” she said. “Hopefully it won’t be raining.”

Fryman said training videos encourage participants to train in all types of weather, and advise walkers to eat certain foods.

“I just can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to see that many people,” she said about the event. “I think I’ll be full of butterflies and a nervous wreck that day.”

During her training, Fryman said she has lost 20 pounds, increased her water intake, and is enjoying a low-fat diet.

“It’s just really worth it,” she said. “... You just kind of keep pushing yourself and pushing yourself.”

The Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk is held in cities across the country.

Fryman will have a booth at the Raggedy Ann Festival on April 18, where she will be collecting donations and giving out free breast cancer cookies.

Donations can also be made online at www.the3day.org under Fryman’s name as the participant.

“I really hope by walking and raising money, my granddaughters don’t have to worry about this,” she said.