DANVILLE — Sherri Ellis had no intention of getting a mammogram — until her sister died of breast cancer last year.
“It wasn’t even on my radar,” said Ellis, human resources specialist at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System.
Now, she hopes others become aware of how much breast cancer can affect not only the patient, but those around her, adding, “Awareness is the key.”
With that in mind, organizers of the second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and Candle Lighting Ceremony hope people will turn out to learn more about the disease and show their support for those who have battled it.
The 1-mile walk will start at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the VA, 1900 E. Main St.
“We’re hoping we can get a lot of community support,” said Rana Shouse, patient centered care coordinator at the VA. “Breast cancer affects not only the person who has it, but everyone who cares about her.”
Last year, about 100 people participated.
Registration will start at 4 p.m. at the pavilion; signs will be placed at the main drive to direct people to the starting point. Parking is available at the nearby Bremer Center at Danville Area Community College.
There is no fee to participate; however, people may make donations that day, if they wish. Seventy-five percent of all donations will go to New Horizons Support Group and 25 percent will be used by the Federal Women’s Program to sponsor future events.
Last year, more than $1,000 was donated to New Horizons, part of the Presence United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation.
“We’re accepting donations, but this is more about community awareness and support,” Ellis said.
Tuesday’s event is sponsored by the Federal Women’s Program, the Employee Association and the Women Veterans’ Program at the VA.
Signs will be available for people to carry — showing whether they’re survivors, supporting someone with breast cancer or honoring someone who lost the battle.