POINT PLEASANT — Sometimes it’s not about how you start, but how you finish.
On Sunday, the ribbon was cut on the sixth annual Walk for Women by Marilyn Higginbotham, 84, who is also a member of the Pleasant CEOS Club. Higginbotham, a breast cancer survivor, has cut the ribbon on the CEOS-sponsored event since it began. This year, she began the walk once again with Anne Dunlap, 88, a survivor of breast, lung and colon cancer.
As the walk began, there were several others who gathered to support the cause that donated proceeds to the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, which provides free health screenings for uninsured and underinsured women. Walkers gently passed the two ladies who continued along the sidewalks of downtown Point Pleasant at their own pace — Higginbotham with children she had cared for when she babysat and call her “Nannie,” and Dunlap with her daughter.
Even when Higginbotham was diagnosed with cancer 23 years ago, she never stopped babysitting or caring for her elderly mother — stopping was an option, but not the best option for her. At the halfway point of the walk, Dunlap, sat down for a minute on a bench to catch her breath, but there was no way she was stopping. After only a few minutes, she stood back up and continued on, without the use of her oxygen.
Both ladies have completed the walk every year and there was never any question they wouldn’t finish it again, though they would do it in their own time and at their own pace. Though they were the first to start the walk, they were the last to finish — but finish it they did. As of Monday afternoon, a video of the two crossing the finish line on the Point Pleasant Register’s Facebook page had reached more than 3,000 people, was viewed by 1,200 people and liked by 148 with several comments wishing the ladies well and proving finishing (and survivors) never goes out of style.
Prior to the walk starting, Tiger Music from New Haven Elementary, under the direction of Rachel Reynolds and Kim Bond, performed for those gathered. The music included everything from body percussion to original pieces with spoken word poetry.
Also helping with the walk, the Mason County Health Department which provided its facility and free health screenings to those in attendance.
The Kountry Kritters 4-H Club passed out water along the route with member of other 4-H clubs participating.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
More photos from this year’s walk at www.mydailyregister.com.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.