Vicksburg natives walk for cancer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Natalie Boland and Dana Tankersley have both had their lives touched by cancer.

Boland lost her grandmother, Tankersley her grandfather and uncle. The two Vicksburg women can’t conquer the disease on their own, but they are doing their part to help.

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Donations for the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk can be made at

Boland and Tankersley will both participate in the Dallas-Fort Worth Breast Cancer 3-Day on Nov. 6-8. The three-day walk will cover 60 miles total — roughly 20 miles each day — and raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.

“It’s just one of those things that you realize a lot of women don’t win. If we can conquer it and win, that’s worth it. All it takes is money,” Tankersley said. “When you lose a friend you realize how hard it is to go through that. It’s just about trying to help and be thankful. My struggle to walk is not as difficult as the struggle they’re going through.”

The Dallas-Fort Worth walk is one of 15 similar events that have been conducted across the country since late July, and the closest one to Vicksburg. Two more three-day walks will be conducted in Arizona Nov. 13-15 and San Diego on Nov. 20-22.

The Dallas walk will begin in Plano, a suburb, and end at Fair Park in downtown Dallas. Walkers are allowed to go at their own pace, making the 60-mile mark a goal but not a requirement.

“It’s a walk, not a race. You can pace yourself and there’s breaks every few miles,” Boland said.

Participants are required to raise a minimum of $2,300 to participate, with 85 percent of the net proceeds going toward Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The other 15 percent goes to the National Philathropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. Boland and Tankersley are both close to their fundraising goal but are still seeking donations, which can be made in their name at

Boland and Tankersley each said they knew people who had previously done the three-day walk. They were encouraged to attempt it this year as both a way to raise money for breast cancer research and get themselves in shape.

As she’s become more invested in the cause, however, Boland said her view has changed a bit. At first, it was a walk for a good cause. In the past few months, it’s become a good cause with a walk at the end.

“You feel like you’re an ambassador for the cause,” said Boland, a school psychometrist for the Vicksburg Warren School District. “Being a part of it has given me the strength to talk about it. If I wasn’t doing this, I wouldn’t be telling my friends to do breast exams on themselves every month.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at