Ole Miss’ 13th annual Cancer Awareness Research and Eradication Walk has continued to raise more money and gain more student and community involvement each year and this year is no different.
The CARE Walk was started in 2003 by a former Panhellenic vice president of community service. Since its beginning, participation has grown each year. Last year, more than 2,000 women walked, raising approximately $52,000 to donate to the Baptist Cancer Center-North Mississippi.
Shelby Santel, Panhellenic vice president of community service, said this is the first step to making the walk a community event.
“My biggest goal is for this to grow,” Santel said. “Of course it’s to raise money, but I want it to get bigger and better each year.”
In the past, only Panhellenic Council sororities and their potential members participated in the CARE Walk. This year the Panhellenic Council invited the Associated Student Body, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Ole Miss athletics and other student organizations to participate in the walk. Additionally, Lulu’s, Indigo and other local businesses set up booths in the Grove.
Santel said cancer survivors were invited to speak before the walk.
“We have a lot of survivors come back,” Santel said. “We can feel their presence and truly appreciate the impact we’re making because we physically get to see the people we’re helping.”
The money raised by the walk is used to help cancer survivors in the Oxford community and surrounding counties, according to Wanda Barbour Dent, women’s health navigator of BCC-NM.
“Because of Panhellenic leadership, we have never had to to turn away a woman that needs a mammogram or breast ultrasound,” Dent said.
BCC-NM has previously used the money to establish the Cope Library, a program providing personalized breast cancer information for patients and their families, Dent said.
Patients who undergo radiation and chemotherapy receive their own spa-style cotton robes, blanket warmers and burlap bags.
Senior business major Hooks Hausman said he hopes the new open format will raise greater awareness for the cause.
“Cancer has impacted my family,” Hausman said. “I’m glad it’s open to everyone. It’s a great event with a great cause.”
Over 2,000 students participated in Ole Miss’ 13th annual Cancer Awareness Research and Eradication Walk Wednesday. This year the Panhellenic Council invited the Associated Student Body, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Ole Miss athletics and other student organizations to participate in the walk. (Photos by Taylor Cook and Taylar Teel)