SHOWING SUPPORT: Empowerment Club members gather to walk for cancer patients and survivors. (Gwen Casten)
SHOWING SUPPORT: Empowerment Club members gather to walk for cancer patients and survivors.

Gwen Casten

Community participates in awareness walk

November 11, 2021

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, DGN participated in its first “No One Walks Alone” challenge in conjunction with several other events, including a pink shirt fundraiser and football and volleyball games, to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society.

“The goal of [the challenge] is to have various groups from our DGN school community pledge to complete a walk or run on a given day during the month of October,” student activities director Mark Mirandola said in an email. “Let’s come together as a Trojan family to show our support for those in our lives who have been affected by cancer.”

More than 1,700 students and 60 groups, ranging from clubs to sports teams to classes, answered the call. 

“[The participation] totally exceeded our expectations,” ELITE sponsor and special services staff member Megan Gilbert said. “The amount [of money] raised is definitely a nice piece of [the challenge], but the goal was more about getting groups to show support for those who are affected by cancer. You can tell it’s very meaningful to a lot of students and staff, so we’re really proud of everyone who’s participated.”

For PE teacher Cristina Krein, the cancer awareness cause is personal.

“I walked for two close friends of mine who beat lymphatic cancer and my mother-in-law who lost her battle to cancer this past year,” Krein said. “Cancer awareness is so important because cancer impacts so many people. As [the PE] department, we believe in supporting overall wellness.”

The girls’ cross country team was among the groups that participated. Senior team member Miranda McNally ran with her cross country friends on Oct. 12 to raise awareness.

“I thought about one of my long-time best friends and her mom who was affected by breast cancer. Being there for my friend was important to me,” McNally said. “I think the challenge was very beneficial because it forced students and teachers to think about others. [The team was able to] share stories and have a form of camaraderie through talking about cancer on a personal level.” 

The success of this year’s events has the DGN community looking forward to the future of cancer awareness opportunities.

“I would really like to see this challenge return and hopefully grow in the years to come,” Krein said.

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