The Susan G. Komen Walk is a three-day, 60 mile quest to raise awareness and generate support for breast cancer and its victims. In order to walk, each participant is required to raise a minimum of $2,300. The Walk members complete approximately 20 miles per day, camping at various sites along the scenic coastline route from Del Mar to Downtown San Diego.
Senior Isabelle Martinez, known to her friends and family as Izzy, has been an active supporter of the Susan G. Komen’s fight against breast cancer for years. Since middle school, Martinez has volunteered and participated in their annual 60-mile walk.
“It’s really awesome because there’s tons of support from the community and it’s a really awesome experience because it just brings everyone together,” Martinez said.
According to Martinez, the majority of the money raised by the walkers and supporters directly provides funding for research. The rest of the money is used to pay for the facilities of the event.
The November 2016 walk wasn’t Martinez’ first time raising awareness for this disease. Initially inspired by her aunt, Marianne Masterson, and her family, Martinez began raising awareness at a young age.
“This year was my second time actually walking, but I started on Youth Core which is the youngest crew [that works at the walk] and did that for three or four years,” Martinez said.
The majority of Martinez’s family on her mother’s side have battled breast cancer.
“There’s seven of [my mother’s cousins] and they’ve all had breast cancer,” Martinez said. “Only one has passed away, but most have undergone all the treatments and have had multiple surgeries.”
Masterson had a double mastectomy in order to prevent the hereditary breast cancer from impacting her and is now responsible for the organization of the majority of the family’s friends and supporters.
“She’s the one who’s actually been helping everyone fundraise and she’s really big on it,” Martinez said. “She does these huge fundraisers and it’s really awesome. She also brings in people from work so it [the walking group] is a mixture of friends and family”.
Martinez described the support she has received from her friends and family at their cheer station.
“Chloe [Heinz], Erica [Pater], Lindsey [Shepherd], they all came out to our family cheer station in the last mile,” Martinez said. “They all set up and came out to help and cheer on walkers, which was cool.”
Martinez plans to participate in the Walk again if her schedule allows.
“I might come back from college, since [the event] is during Thanksgiving Break,” Martinez said. “It’s just such an amazing experience.”
Continuing her support of the fight against breast cancer, is a matter Martinez feels strongly about.
“I definitely think it’s something to be supported and to continue raising awareness for,” Martinez said.
Martinez enthusiastically recommended that her fellow Sundevils partake in these awareness-raising events.
“Even though it’s 60 miles and it kinda hurts your feet after a while, I think anyone that joins it would fall in love with it just like I did,” Martinez said.