Athletic training students, faculty volunteer for breast cancer benefit event

Sept. 28, 2006


Contact: Paula Naughtin, School of Education, (785) 864-3758

Even for a good cause, putting about 1,200 people on foot for 60 miles in three days makes for the walking wounded.

It was enough to spur 10 University of Kansas athletic training students and faculty to lend their expertise to the all-volunteer health services support crew Sept. 15-17 for the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk in the Kansas City area.

Two KU athletic training faculty members, David Carr, assistant professor, and Phillip Vardiman, lecturer, together with eight KU students were among the 255 on the volunteer support crew for the duration of the walk. Vardiman was on-route for all three days; Carr was there Sept. 15.

“The walk was a true testament to the human service, and I was very grateful that our students were involved,” Vardiman said.

It was the first time KU School of Education students majoring in athletic training in the health, sport and exercise sciences program had helped as a group with the Breast Cancer 3-Day benefit.

The Kansas City event raised $2.8 million for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Breast Cancer Fund. It is one of 12 Breast Cancer 3-Day fundraisers scheduled across the country from August to November and the second year it has been held in Kansas City. Often motivated by a friend or family member who has dealt with breast cancer, each walker paid a $90 entry fee and raised a minimum of $2,200.

“When you heard some of the stories of why the people walked … it was pretty amazing to see what these people went through to raise the money,” said Chris Carpenter, Kansas City, Kan., senior.

Each student worked at least one full day. Tour organizers said the sports medicine crew treated about 200 patients.

“Helping women who thought they couldn’t walk the next day so they were able to continue” was one of the most rewarding parts of the day for Jamie Hearn, Pratt senior. “One woman cried when I treated her blisters and made her sister take a picture of us for her scrapbook.”

Besides blisters, the KU volunteers used their expertise to help treat the walkers’ aches and pains, heat exhaustion on two 90-plus-degree sunny days, limps, cramps and other musculoskeletal injuries and discomforts. They assisted on teams that provided basic first aid, athletic taping, blister care, evaluations and treatment as needed with medical issues.

“Regardless of our help, I have a feeling these women would have kept walking, that’s how determined they were to finish what they set out to do,” said Pat Quinn, Carmel, N.Y., senior. “To make them more comfortable while they did it made me feel like I was part of the event.”

The walk started at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Participants spent their days walking and their nights encamped, either at Shawnee Mission Park in Shawnee or, when storms threatened, in a nearby warehouse. They dealt with varied landscapes that included rural roadways, suburban neighborhood streets, historic districts and urban shopping areas in Wyandotte and Johnson counties, plus the Country Club Plaza and Westport areas of Kansas City, Mo. Supportive messages and cheering boosters lined the entire route offering encouragement all the way to final ceremonies late Sept. 17 at the Liberty Memorial in midtown Kansas City, Mo.

For more information, including walkers’ day-by-day diaries, go to the Breast Cancer 3-Day Web site, then click on the Kansas City links.

For additional details on KU’s athletic training major, go to the School of Education Web site.

KU athletic training student volunteers are listed by name, hometown and ZIP Code, major and level in school, parents and high schools.

From Highland 66035
Kristan Olson, senior in athletic training, daughter of Wayne and Marla Olson; Highland High School.

From Burns 66840
Shelby Plummer, senior in athletic training, daughter of Albert and Bonnie Plummer; Peabody-Burns High School.

From Pratt 67124
Jamie Hearn, senior in athletic training, daughter of Richard and Janell Hearn; Pratt High School.

From Salina 67401
Carrie Brown, junior in athletic training, daughter of Sandra Phillips; Salina South High School.

From Kansas City 66111
Chris Carpenter, senior in athletic training, son of Gary and Diane Carpenter; Bonner Springs High School.

From Bentonville 72712
Matt Lovelady, senior in athletic training, son of Travis and Debbie Riggs; Bentonville High School.

From Eden Prairie 55346
Cassie Guttman, senior in athletic training, daughter of Joe and Anne Guttman; Eden Prairie High School.

From Carmel 10512
Pat McGinn, senior in athletic training, son of Maureen McGinn; Carmel High School.