Three for the Road will hold a Family Day and Walk on Sept. 13 at Legion Park, Hollidaysburg. Check-in is at 1 p.m., and the walk starts at 2 p.m. Interested walkers/donors should contact Julie at 943-1282 or Sandra at threefortheroadwalk@
gmail.com. Steamer and Daniel the Lion will kick off the walk, and the Altoona Area High School football team, a dunking booth, a petting zoo and Fat Daddy's wings will be on hand. Other fundraisers also are planned, including the third annual stained glass collection, and a basket fundraiser with items ranging from Pampered Chef to scrapbooking to jewelry; local sporting stores and teams have donated baskets.
The event will include many games and activities for children and music, as well as a concession stand. Three for the Road was started in 2006, when Ethan Knepp, 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 a nonsmoker. 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. The group has also recognized the increasing number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Ethan, Julie and others want to raise funds and awareness to support people with these serious illnesses. Three for the Road held its first walk on Sept. 30, 2007, raising funds for the American Lung Association, Bloomin' Youth Autism Program and the American Syringomyelia Alliance Project. The group honored Karen's family and her fight with lung cancer.
The community responded by helping make the donations and cover most of the costs of the walk.