Family Focus: Cancer survivor gearing up for another rewarding challenge

by: Erica Bryant Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Erin Sipe is gearing up for a rewarding challenge.
 
After participating in the Avon walk last year, she is ready to do it again.
 
“It was amazing, brutal and wonderful, emotional that I can't wait to go back this year,” Sipe said.
 
Four years ago, she discovered a lump during a self-exam and was later diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
After mastectomy and aggressive therapy she's doing well and her family wants to pay it forward.       
 
“We want to spend this season of health giving back to make a difference to a woman diagnosed and a family affected by that diagnosis as well,” Sipe said.
 
The event will be even more special this year, because Sipe's 12-year-old daughter, Kara, was selected as a youth volunteer doing her part to wipe out the disease.
 
“I don't want to have to experience that and I don't want my mom to go through that again, so that's just my way of helping,” Kara Sipe said.
 
Youth volunteers commit to raising $500. Walkers, who must be 18 or older, commit to at least three times that.

“Every year $1,800 for each team member and every year we surpass it. Our team since 2007 has raised almost $80,000,” Erin Sipe said. “Every walker there is really in to end it to end the disease as we know it.”
 
And after walking nearly 40 miles in 48 hours, Sipe said the true payoff is seeing local hospitals receive more funds to fight cancer.
 
“That is very powerful to a survivor to realize that there is forward motion toward finding a cure and new treatments,” Sipe said.
 
The walk is in October. Click here for more information on how you can join or form a team and participate.