MOULTRIE -- See North Georgia in three days; traveling from Lake Lanier to Atlanta. Others will be responsible for transporting your luggage and delivering it to you daily. You'll be provided with two hot, nutritious meals and a snack lunch each day, plus all the snacks and beverages you'd like.

Sounds like a vacation, right?

Well, not if you're walking those 60 miles, in whatever kind of weather Mother Nature gives you.

That's what four nurses from Colquitt Regional Medical Center's Maternal-Infant Unit have planned for a weekend in October.

Barbara James, Janet Hayes, Debra Hayes and Anita Johnston will join nearly 3,000 others in Avon's Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk to raise money for breast cancer programs all over the country.

"A lot of people don't have access to care," said Janet Hayes. "This walk raises money for mammograms and chemotherapy."

"We primarily work with women," added James. "It touches alot of us."

The walk's Web site states that "the goal of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is to benefit all women, with a special emphasis on reaching the medically underserved, including low-income, elderly and minority women and those with inadequate health insurance."

Participants in the three-day event must raise $1,900 each. So far, the local walkers have raised $2,100, collecting money from doctors, co-workers and the Volunteer Auxiliary.

"If we don't raise the money, we have to pay it ourselves," explained Debra Hayes.

Walkers may bring 35 pounds of luggage, including a sleeping bag, clothes and water bottles. Tents are provided.

They will stay in what walk coordinators call a mobile city, which moves from location to location, with shower units and sinks with hot water and a remembrance tent for quiet reflecting. The village will also offer all types of services, from general information to massage therapists. Walkers will be able to purchase all sorts of items, including postcards, sunglasses and T-shirts, in the general store.

Nightly entertainment will be provided by various people. Walkers can show off their talents in the participant talent show.

"There's a special closing ceremony called Celebration of Life," said Debra Hayes. "You can invite your families to see you walk across the finish line."

"Walk or crawl," laughed Janet Hayes.

The local walkers anticipate having a good time, while helping to gain awareness for an important cause.

"It took us a while to make a committment," said Anita Johnston. "But we're looking forward to it."

"We just hope it's not raining everyday," said James.

The four don't know of any other South Georgians who plan to participate in the walk.

In addition to making the committment to raise the money and complete the walk, the nurses are sacrificing their vacation time to participate.

The nurses have trained for the 60-mile trek by participating in several walks for various causes this year.

"We walked for luekemia awareness at Disney World," said James. "That was a half marathon, 13.1 miles."

The group also walked seven and a half miles with the March of Dimes at Callaway Gardens and just for fun at the Plains Peanut Festival, where James won first place in her age division and met former President Jimmy Carter.

Anyone who wished to make a tax-deductible donation may contact the nurses at 890-3545. Donations must be collected by Sept. 1.



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