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Dallas bound to walk against cancer

Rosemount resident Erica McDonald will walk 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk Nov. 5 through Nov. 7 in Dallas. She has done the Minneapolis walk twice.

Erica McDonald likes a challenge. So a couple years ago she decided to do the 60-mile Minneapolis Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, just to see if she could do it.

"I walked every mile," said the Rosemount resident proudly.

McDonald had so much fun participating that she decided to do it a couple more times. Then in 2008, she had twins and had to take some time off.

The active mother likes to test her endurance, though, so after a two-year hiatus she's back at the 3-Day again, only this time in Dallas.

McDonald is doing the walk Nov. 5 through 7 with her sister-in-law, Angie Swanson. Swanson is in a wheelchair and will roll the 60 miles so the women have named their team Walk. Roll. Cure.

Due to Swanson's disability the pair asked the Susan G. Komen foundation which event would best accommodate her and the organization suggested the Dallas event. Since that is somewhere warm, McDonald said she's all for it. The duo will meet in Dallas Nov. 4.

"I've never been to Dallas so I'm pretty excited," said McDonald.

The first time McDonald did the walk she was inspired by her grandmother, who was a breast cancer survivor. This year McDonald said she will walk in support of an aunt who was recently diagnosed and in celebration of her mother-in-law and her husband's grandmother who are cancer survivors.

Having family members who have been affected by the disease has pushed her to want to do more. Eventually, McDonald said she would like to walk in all the cities that sponsor three-day events.

While there is a training program participants can follow, McDonald doesn't take part. To prepare for the event she has been walking around Rosemount with her twins.

"I'm really active so I've just been doing my own stuff to get ready for it," said McDonald.

While excited for the event, McDonald said she is a little sad she won't have a hometown crowd to cheer her on at the finish line.

"I have some mixed emotions that my husband and kids won't be there to see me finish," said McDonald.

Despite it she's looking forward to making a difference and enjoying the cameraderie that comes with doing the event.

"Overall it's just a fun experience and it's inspirational to see all the people who get involved. Some of them are cancer survivors and others have lost someone," said McDonald. "Walking 60 miles is nothing compared to what some of these people have been through."

On day one there will be a opening ceremony which McDonald said is usually emotional. Then the walk begins. During the first two days walkers will trek more than 20 miles a day.

McDonald said it will take seven or eight hours to go that distance.

Along the walk there are pit stops every few miles.

Her favorite part of the walk is seeing the sights along the route.

"I see so much more of the city than I would any other way," said McDonald.

During the evenings the walkers camp out. She said there are tents set up with food and entertainment along with other amenities like showers and computers.

On the last day walkers will go a shorter distance so everyone can finish and a closing ceremony is held.

Each participant has to raise $2,300 to walk in the event. McDonald's goal is to raise $2,500. She said she's getting close to her goal but every little bit helps.

Net proceeds from the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, and community programs.

Donate online a or by phone to 1-800-996-3DAY.

To contact McDonald email walkrollcure@

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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