NEW HAVEN — If there’s one thing that can be said about living in a small community, it’s that when one member of it is hurting, nearly everyone is affected.
Evidence of that was seen Sunday afternoon, when over 350 people joined in a prayer walk for a New Haven woman who is battling cancer.
Amanda Lieving was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Known throughout the Bend Area for her participation in various walks to raise funds for cancer awareness, it was her turn to be the recipient of not a walk for money, but one of love and support.
Rhonda Wood, one of the walk organizers, said the walk was announced on Facebook Thursday. She asked people to share the social media post, and by Sunday, the hundreds appeared.
“So many people wanted to show their support and love,” Wood said. “We knew the only thing we could do was pray.”
And pray, they did. All 350 people stopped in the roadway in front of the Lieving home with Amanda on the front porch, to recite the Lord’s Prayer aloud. Walkers then continued the 5K trek, which began and ended at the fire station. Cards and posters were signed by those attending to support Amanda in the journey ahead.
Participants ranged in age from three-month-old stroller riders to some who were almost 90 years old, Wood said. They wore teal ribbons in support of “Team Amanda.”
Lieving has been a longtime supporter of cancer research. She has walked in a number of fundraisers, including those for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, as well as the “Avon 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer,” this past summer in Chicago.
Amanda and her husband, Dr. Wes Lieving, also initiated and sponsor the “Wahama Run for Education” each year. The run provides scholarships for Wahama seniors. Many members of the school’s organizations also took part in the walk, including the National Honor Society, Rho Kappa History Honor Society, varsity cheerleaders, and others.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.