Wednesday, 31 August 2005 17:00

Gregs Collision Center owner walks to raise funds for breast cancer research

Written by Karyn Hendricks
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Greg's Collision Center, Inc., one of the largest independently-owned repair facilities in the Southern California area, is supporting the efforts of its co-owner Karen Castro. A community leader and activist, Castro is leading a unique fund-raising effort to support breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. She will be participating in the 2005 San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day, an event benefitting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund, scheduled to take place October 14-16. 

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Castro has committed to this cause by training to walk 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men, and has agreed to raise at least $2,100 in donations. She has set her personal goal at $3,000 in an effort to earn additional proceeds to go toward breast cancer research. With six weeks to go before the event, Castro had already exceeded her personal goal by over $2,000, receiving pledges from friends, family and all segments of the auto body business. And contributions continue to come in.

"I am honored to be a part of such a special cause," explained Castro. "This is the beginning of an incredible adventure, and through the support of my family, friends and community, I hope to lead the effort to make a difference in the fight against this life-threatening disease which affects hundreds of thousands of women and their families.

It's hard work

"Training is time consuming, but I feel really good. I've been walking in the hills and am up to ten miles so far. Work will begin shortly with the training team to develop the stamina to do the entire 60 miles. The event is very well organized. Cheering stations will be set up every three miles to break for eating, refilling drink bottles and taking care of personal necessities. The behind-the-scenes team must be lauded for their efforts as well as the walkers. They do all the carrying, setting up, caring for the walkers and more."

Continued Castro: "I can't believe the response I'm receiving from all over the country. I became interested because of my concern for friends and acquaintances who suffer from or have died from the disease. People have been sending me letters telling stories of survival and how thankful they are for the effort put forth by the walkers and organizers. I didn't think that I - as just one person - would get this much support in money and prayers and stories. I didn't think that one person could make such a difference. This is a life-changing experience."

The fundraising journey will begin in North San Diego County at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, moving south through the beach communities of Torrey Pines, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Mission Bay Park and Sunset Cliffs. The terrain will range from sidewalks, bike paths, and oceanfront boardwalks, with a number of large hills incorporated in the route. The journey will come to an end through the Historic Old Town neighborhood, as well as the urban areas of Mission Hills, Hillcrest, and the Gas Lamp, finishing in Balboa Park.

According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, approximately 200,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and nearly 40,000 will die from the disease.

"To find a cure would be the ultimate reward," Castro concluded.

For more information about Castro and her participation in the 2005 San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day, or to make a donation toward her fundraising efforts, please visit her online fundraising headquarters at snipurl.com/gex3, or contact her at (562) 531-6600 or karen@gregscollision.com. For more information about the event itself, go to www.the3day.org .


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