HOLLIDAYSBURG - Three for the Road will hold a walk Sunday at Legion Park. Check-in is at 1 p.m., and the walk starts at 2 p.m.
The group's journey started in 2006. Ethan Knepp, at age 11, designed his service project to teach people about the risks and realities of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
In August 2006, Ethan experienced the death of a close family friend, Karen Eckenrode. Karen went to the doctor for persistent coughing in August 2005. She was not diagnosed with lung cancer until March 2006 because the doctors do not routinely order a chest X-ray for nonsmokers. Karen died at age 37 of lung cancer on Aug. 26, 2006.
Ethan plays Little League baseball. His coach's wife has lived with a life-altering illness since 1998. Julie Newberry, who has Arnold Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia, has been looking for a way to increase awareness and support. Julie went undiagnosed for seven years with excruciating headaches caused by light, numbness and tingling in her hands and feet, muscle weakness and eventually losing function in her hands because the doctors were unfamiliar with the conditions. A doctor in Pittsburgh knew what she had by ordering a simple MRI. This led to many trips to Pittsburgh and four more surgeries. There are one in 1,900 Americans diagnosed with SM.
The group also recognizes the increasing number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In Pennsylvania, one in 150 children are diagnosed with autism or Asperger's disease. These numbers are expected to rise.
Ethan, Julie and others want to raise funds and awareness to support people with these serious illnesses.
To accomplish its mission, TFTR held its first walk on Sept. 30, 2007, and was able to raise funds for the American Lung Association, Bloomin' Youth Autism Program and American Syringomyelia Alliance Project.
Interested walkers/donors should contact Julie at 943-1282 or Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the walk, people can visit Altoona Curve mascot Steamer, who will kick off the walk.
An Italian Charms vendor will be selling charms, and a Lia Sophia consultant will be selling jewelry. Both will donate a portion of proceeds to TFTR.
A stained glass collection will be on display, and a silent auction will run from 1 to 4 p.m. The items range from Pampered Chef to scrapbooking to jewelry.
There will be some games for the children and music to enjoy, as well as a full concession stand.
The walk will honor a young woman fighting her second battle with lung cancer. The goal for the walk is to raise awareness and funds to support at least three local families.