10,000 walk to fight cancer; $800,000 was goal of annual event.


Byline: Priyanka Dayal

WORCESTER - A lot of thoughts flash through your mind when you find out someone you love has cancer. One of them is, "What do I do now?"

Lori Frascolla of Sutton found something to do. She raised money and marched in yesterday's UMass Medicine Cancer Walk.

"It gave me something that I could do that was positive and helpful," said the first-time walker, whose mother is battling lung cancer.

"It's important to raise money to eliminate cancer, to save lives," said her father, Richard Burchell, of Framingham. "One of them could be my wife's life."

The father and daughter were among nearly 10,000 walkers in the 13th annual cancer walk at University of Massachusetts Medical School. The event raises money for cancer research and treatment.

Nancy Flynn of Spencer walked as a cancer survivor.

"I was diagnosed early, luckily, because of the care I got here," she said, pointing to the hospital behind her, UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Doctors found cancer in Ms. Flynn's kidney. The kidney was removed in 2004, and she has been cancer-free ever since.

Her sister, Barbara Walker of West Boylston, walked alongside her yesterday morning. Their mother is also a cancer survivor, the sisters said.

"We all need to do our part to raise money for research," Ms. Walker said, "because cancer touches everybody."

Organizers were still totaling donations yesterday afternoon. The fundraising goal for the walk this year was $800,000.

Walkers had a choice between a 1-mile route or a 5-mile route around Lake Quinsigamond. A few minutes before 10 a.m., after a "Stop Cancer Now!" chant, walkers began the course. They streamed through a balloon archway as Pop Warner cheerleaders cheered them on.

Also in Worcester yesterday, the Alzheimer's Association's Massachusetts and New Hampshire chapter held a fundraiser walk at Quinsigamond Community College. An estimated 3,000 people participated in the 3-mile walk.

Christine M. Brown, development and outreach officer for the association, said walkers likely exceeded the $200,000 fundraising goal. The money helps fund, among other things, the association's help line, support groups and educational programs.

The cancer walk at UMass Medical School is in its 13th year. In the past, it was called the Walk to Cure Cancer. The name was changed this year to the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk. According to an explanation on the event website, the name was changed because the phrase "cure cancer" has become widely used...

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