By AMY GAREIS News-Herald Staff Writer
JEWETT – When Wendy Ledger was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer four years ago, her friends, family and community rallied around her. Now she’s returning the favor.
Ledger, of Jewett, is organizing Wendy’s Walk/Run for Hope, which is set for Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. at the Jewett Wildcat Community Center. She and friend Trisha Hirschbach, an avid runner, are coordinating the fundraiser and proceeds will benefit local women diagnosed with the disease. Jewett United Methodist Church will also hold a pancake breakfast that day from 7-9 a.m.
Participants can fuel up with flapjacks before heading to the community center to register. Preregistration is $18 per walker or runner and is due, along with sponsorships, by Oct. 1. Race day registration is $25 per person with $5 for a Children’s Fun Run and will be held from 9-9:45 a.m. The fun run will include one lap around the center while the 5K Race will occur along the Conotton Creek Trail. T-shirts will be distributed to 5K participants with awards to top finishers in each age bracket, as well as overall male and female. Categories include age 14 and under; 15-24; 25-34- 35-44; 45-54; and 55 and above. Other activities that day include face painting for the kids and hot dogs and refreshments available with a donation.
Ledger said the event also means to draw awareness and she hopes for a good turnout at the inaugural effort. She added that she also wanted to repay the community that supported her through her fight.
“I am a breast cancer survivor. The Scio Legion had a benefit for me and I wanted to give something back to the local women who want to get diagnosed. My friend, Trisha, did the Susan G. Komen Race and helped plan this event.”
October was then selected since it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She added that prayer was answered when Jewett UMC, of which she has been a member for the past two years, became involved.
“I had talked to a walk/run organizer in Toronto and he said we needed a non-profit organization to help sponsor it. I had just gotten off the phone with him and Pastor Hester Hudson called me. I thought it was a sign,” Ledger added. “It’s amazing. Things happen for a reason. I think the church is out there to help people too.”
An emergency room nurse and mother of two, she said her ordeal began in 2008 when she felt a lump during a self-examination. A subsequent mammogram and biopsy diagnosed the disease and Ledger underwent multiple surgeries, including a bilateral mastectomy and total hysterectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments. She could not work for 11 months but overcame the disease. Now she tries to stress the importance of getting mammograms to help save lives.
“I do talk to women about it at work,” she said. “It’s important that they are aware, and if they find anything they need to call the doctor right away and not wait.”
Checks are payable to Wendy’s Walk and pre-registrations may be mailed to Wendy Ledger, 88550 Maple Road, Jewett, Ohio, 43986. For more information, contact Ledger at 740-945-2003 or Hirschbach at 740-946-0153.
Pictured above are Trisha Hirschbach, left, and breast cancer survivor Wendy Ledger.
Trisha Hirschbach, left, and breast cancer survivor Wendy Ledger