L'ANSE - For Trudi Koskinen, walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event has a special, personal meaning.
Koskinen, who lives in the Waterford, Mich., area, but is from L'Anse, said her mother, Susan Presslein, and a cousin both died from cancer.
"(The event) is near and dear to my heart," she said.
She will be walking in the 3-Day for the Cure with a friend, Nola Asgaard, who lives in Escanaba but who is also from L'Anse.
"Both Nola and I did it last year," she said. "We didn't know what to expect."
She walked last year with cancer survivors and some who were receiving treatment for cancer at the time, which Koskinen said she found inspiring.
"It was life changing," she said.
Their team is called the Pink Yoopers, said Koskinen, who has lived in the Waterford area for nine years.
The walk is a three-day event covering 60 miles, Koskinen said. The dates this year are Aug. 17 through 19. In order to participate, walkers must get commitments of a minimum of $2,300 in donations. So far, Koskinen said she and Asgaard each have commitments of about $2,300.
Much of what the two women have raised has come from Baraga County, Koskinen said.
"They've been very supportive," she said.
The Michigan 3-Day for the Cure walk starts in Novi, Mich., Koskinen said. It ends at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.
There either have been or will be walks in 13 other locations around the country.
In order to get in shape for the event, Koskinen said for the past few months she's been following a training schedule provided by event organizers.
"It's pretty simple to follow, if you can put in the time," she said.
According to its website, komen.org, Dallas, Texas-based "Susan G. Komen for the Cure, (is) the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982. As the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we're working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures."
Koskinen said the route is kept a secret by event organizers for a while as a way to protect the walkers' safety.
"They don't actually give you the route until a week before the walk," she said.
Each day's walk will be about 20 miles, Koskinen said. There will be a campsite set up by the event organizers, and the walkers sleep in a pink tent the first and second night. The third day of walking is special.
"They have a huge celebration on that day," she said.
The cancer survivors walk across the finish line first, Koskinen said.
She also participated for five years in the mid and late 1990s in the American Cancer Society's Relay for life at the Houghton High School track, Koskinen said.
"I used to do it with my mom," she said.
Although she participates in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event in memory of her mother, Koskinen said she also does it for her two daughters.
"If they have to face cancer in my life, I would hope there'd be a cure," she said.