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Keedysville woman trains for breast cancer walk

Crutchley will participate for friends, family members and herself

Crutchley will participate for friends, family members and herself

April 18, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

KEEDYSVILLE -- School bus drivers honk and children wave, and some regular travelers on Md. 34 even shake their finger at Elizabeth Crutchley when they notice she is off her schedule.

Regular as clockwork, Crutchley, 38, has been walking from her home in Keedysville to Sharpsburg and back six days a week as she trains for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk scheduled for May 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C.

"It's a 39-mile walk over the two days," Crutchley said, noting some walkers will be walking just 26 miles. "I am going for the entire 39."

Like many other walkers, Crutchley will be walking for several people, including herself.

"My mother-in-law, Katherine, is currently undergoing treatment after surgery for breast cancer in March," she said.

When she walks, Crutchley often wears a T-shirt and bandanna bearing the names of her mother-in-law, other friends and family members who have battled cancer.

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Crutchley herself has had numerous surgeries to remove malignant melanomas, so on the front of her shirt also is the word "Me."

"Then, I had a gastric bypass on Aug. 1, 2007," Crutchley said, noting she has lost 130 pounds since the surgery and her own brush with cancer. "During that time, I saw how cancer stole people's lives and hopes. Now that I can walk, I want to give those people hope - hope for a cure and for a long life cancer-free.

Crutchley is doing well with her recovery and with her walk regimen. What she said she needs now is more people willing to sponsor her in the May walk.

"I have raised $500 so far," she said. Her goal is $1,800, and she has until the end of May to make that amount.

All of the money Crutchley raises will benefit people locally, she said.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade began in 1992 and includes walks, runs, concerts and other fundraising activities.

The motto for this year's walk is "For 2 Days, We Walk As One."

Born in Kentucky, Crutchley grew up in Baltimore, but has lived in Keedysville for some time. She has a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter.

"My son is donating his hair to Locks of Love before he joins the U.S. Air Force," she said.

Crutchley worked in the graphic arts field until 2002, when she became disabled.

"I have a Web page on the Avon Web site that people can access to see how the walk is done and read my blog on my progress," she said.

To find her blog, go to www.avonwalk.org, then click on the walker section and type in "Elizabeth Crutchley" and it will go to her page in the D.C. walk.

There, pledges can be made to her walk efforts. And she emphasizes that every amount from $1 on up counts.

For now, Crutchley is concentrating on her walking.

"Some days it's rough, but when people smile and wave, it makes me feel good," Crutchley said. "I've made quite a comeback."

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