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By Ken Stone and Chris Stone
Atlanta’s loss was San Diego’s gain.
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When organizers of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk series decided to drop the Georgia capital from the national rotation of 60-mile breast-cancer walks, some Southerners came here.
Among them was 17-year-old Elijah Joiner of Atlanta, one of six members of Yaya’s Warriors fund-raising team. Yaya means grandmother in Greek culture.
“I feel good, but my calves are killing me,” Joiner said Sunday afternoon, resting amid closing ceremonies of the annual San Diego 3-Day at Waterfront Park next to the County Administration Center.
“I love this,” said the son of a breast cancer survivor (his grandmother is still battling the disease). “It’s so much fun.”
The hardest part?
The hills, he said of the trek that began Friday morning at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. But he called Atlanta worse — “hill after hill.”
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Another Atlantan had the special honor of carrying the Komen banner “We will never give up.”
Margie Wimbish, in her late 60s, was accorded that privilege by being the last of 2,000-plus finishers Sunday — who collectively raised more than $5.7 million for cancer research.
Wimbish was one of a dozen with the team Pink Angel Street Walkers, who had a goal of raising $23,000 but actually took in $33,044.
“I feel great,” she said on a day when high temps neared 90, caring not about her placement. “As long as I come in walking, it doesn’t matter.”
She’s done the walk 17 times in Atlanta and twice in San Diego, she said.
Wimbish walked in honor of her sister Merinda Stanley of Atlanta, a 22-year breast-cancer survivor.
After her cancer, Stanley gave birth to triplets.
“I want her to live forever,” said sister Margie.
Retired firefighter Dale Emmerich of Dane County, Wisconsin — where Madison is the county seat — says San Diego was the third of his 3-day walks this year.
He hiked all 180 miles in heavy fire gear.
“This is what we wear for an emergency,” Emmerich said. “And this is an emergency.”
The air tank on his back was covered with the names of cancer survivors.
“Every name makes it lighter for me to carry,” he said.
Survivors on Their Minds: Georgians Finish 3-Day Walk in San Diego was last modified: November 18th, 2019 by
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