Rush family fights breast cancer

CHRISTIANSBURG—Delegate Nick Rush and his wife, Jennifer, announce their annual fundraising initiative to support breast cancer research in memory of Jennifer’s mother, Gaye Yonce Whitaker, who lost her hard-fought battle with the disease just last month.

In an effort to join the fight, Jennifer decided to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which will be held later this year in Charlotte, N.C. She will walk 39 miles in 2 days in order to raise funds for the Avon Foundation for Women. An average of 80 percent of the funds raised by Avon Walk stays within the area of the event. The remaining 20 percent helps ensure nationwide care and research programs have adequate funding to fight against breast cancer.

Last year, the Avon Walk donated $150,000 to Virginia Tech in support of researchers investigating environmental risk factors of breast cancer development. Due to funding and research, many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer have been made. And with these advancements, a promising statistic in 2011 was that there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.

“Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, as well as preventing its return, if you are a survivor,” Jennifer said. With this in mind, she combined efforts with the owner of Boot Camp Challenge of the New River Valley to create a Boot Camp to Fight Breast Cancer fundraiser.

“Last year, the event raised a little over $800 for the Avon Foundation. I hope our friends and neighbors will join Nick and me in our efforts to raise money for the worthwhile cause,” added Rush.

This year’s event is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held on the soccer fields at Christiansburg Moose Lodge. The cost is $10 with all the proceeds to benefit the Avon Walk. It is a one-hour boot camp class that consists of fun interval training in cardio and strength. Modifications will be given for all fitness levels. If wished to participate, they can contact the event’s drill sergeant Jenifer Messer at




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