McHENRY – The first thing Valerie Clancy will probably do after crossing the finish line is cry.
The McHenry woman is preparing to walk the Susan G. Komen 3-Day – a 60-mile walk from Northbrook to Soldier Field in Chicago – for the first time this August. She was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.
She's a regular walker, but she's ramped up the miles she walks each day, covering at least three to five miles. The extra distance has caused her to develop problems with her heels.
"You go through all that," Clancy said. "You go through the chemo. You go through the surgery. Now, it's like, OK, you've got to give back some way. People tell me, 'Well, you raised the money. It's the money that counts.' But to me, it's the accomplishment of actually crossing the finish line and saying, 'Hey, I've come full circle.' I've got to do it."
If anything happens on the walk, she's prepared. Her teammates include her sister-in-law, Theresa Clancy, who is a nurse practitioner, and niece, Nicole Brown, who is a physical therapist. A friend of her niece, Amy Kern, is also on the team.
The four have to raise $10,000 to participate.
Clancy hopes a fundraiser planned for Saturday will help get them closer to their goal.
A buffet-style pasta dinner will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the McHenry Moose Lodge, 3535 N. Richmond Road, Johnsburg. There will also be a silent auction, raffles and a 50/50 raffle.
The band Distraction has donated its time and will play '70s and '80s music.
Clancy thought the fundraiser would be a small thing, but some of the women from the lodge decided to run with it, said Sue Preston, who volunteered to help.
Clancy wants to use the 3-Day as chance to give back, she said. The Moose put on two fundraisers to help her and her family cover medical expenses, and she had support groups through Centegra Hospital.
"Even though you're the sick one, it affects your whole inner circle," she said.