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Smith, the assistant director of leadership and community service for the Campus Involvement Center, will participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure in San Diego to raise money for breast cancer research.

Photographer: Emily Martin

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He began training for the walk almost six months ago, but he discounts his physical preparation for the event.

Photographer: Emily Martin

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Smith holds up a breast cancer awareness ribbon

Photographer: Emily Martin

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One man, 60 miles for the cure


Like many people, Kevin Smith has been touched by breast cancer. Not content with wearing pink or donating money, Smith has decided to show his support in a bigger way.

Nov. 19-21, he will participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure in San Diego to raise money for breast cancer research.

“I’m walking 60 miles this November. I’ve had folks in my family die from cancer, and two women in my family have passed away from breast cancer,” said Smith. “Anything is valuable for raising funds. I personally believe breast cancer awareness will have a domino effect for a cancer cure.”

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure is a 60-mile walk over three days held throughout the year in 15 major cities. Individuals and teams raise money to walk, with all funds donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure*.
 
Smith, the assistant director of leadership and community service for the Campus Involvement Center, oversees the Amanda J. Cunningham Leadership Center. He has led many community service initiatives but none has been as close to his heart as his fundraising for breast cancer research.

He began training for the walk almost six months ago, but he discounts his physical preparation for the event.

“To me, it’s as much about the physical challenge as meeting the people involved in this,” said Smith. “You walk with survivors, people undergoing treatments and people whose families have been devastated by cancer.”

Smith created an e-mail list of friends, family and colleagues to ask them to donate to the cause, inform them about breast cancer and update them on his journey.

So far, he has raised 61 percent of his goal of $2,300, mainly by relying on small donations.

“I appreciate his determination, drive and commitment to a cause that touches most families,” said Lisa Kamody, director for student and community engagement and academic advisor with University College. “I am currently undergoing breast cancer treatment, and it is my hope that funding dollars will raise awareness.”

Other friends and colleagues, like Bob Bulow, assistant registrar for catalog and scheduling services for the University, were inspired to give by Smith’s passion.

“Kevin does not put time and effort into things in which he does not believe. Because this is a cause Kevin feels strongly enough about that he is coordinating fundraisers, rather than just asking people for money, makes this opportunity more worthwhile to me too,” said Bulow.

Through his walk, Smith hopes to inspire more men to become more committed to breast cancer fundraising.

“I’d love to see more men get involved. I have found a greater sense of empathy,” he said. “I have seen how people are affected.”

At a recent training walk, Smith was shocked to find only one man in a group of 50 women.

“Far too few men get involved with this. It’s a travesty. Breast cancer affects everyone indirectly,” said Smith. “The whole walk will be around 20,000 people, and only 10 percent will be men.”

In spite of this, he does see positive contributions being made by OHIO students.

“Many students have volunteered on their own right,” stated Smith. “Students are involved in breast cancer research fundraising.”

He cites organizations like Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority and OU Colleges Against Cancer who are leading the University fight to end the disease.

Smith’s walk is just part of an ongoing effort to raise breast cancer awareness.

“This really gives you a perspective. The walk has opened my world up. It’s all about learning, growing and understanding,” said Smith.

Individuals can donate to Smith’s walk through the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Cure website, the3day.org*, where they can also read about Smith’s journey.

# This story was edited on Oct. 27 for accuracy.

Related Links

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure* Susan G. Komen for the Cure* Campus Involvement Center

Additional Info

* Following this link takes you away from the Ohio University website.