Call them trailblazers. "I think you learn you're stronger than you think you are" breast cancer survivor Lisa Stanton said. "I can't tell you how lucky I feel" said Arleen Danford, another breast cancer survivor.
Saturday 75 men and women hiked Bolton mountain for the first annual ‘Bolton or Bust' to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention. Maria Ferrentino came to honor her cousin Donna. "She was one of those people that loved life and always tried to help others. I lost her last April, I'm here today to honor her memory, tell her I love her" Ferrentino said.
The three mile hike brought in 10,000 dollars in donations, their goal was 5,000 dollars, all proceeds go toward research and prevention. Lisa Stanton hopes research leads to early detection, so fewer women go through the extent of the treatment she experienced. "I had chemotherapy and a couple of surgeries" Stanton said.
According to the Vermont Health Department breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the state. Every year 97 women die from the disease and each year another 465 are diagnosed. "I try not to think about it every day but its something you can't stop thinking about" Danford said. "You feel so fortunate that you just want to give something back that's why I like these kinds of hikes because I feel like I'm giving back to the community that gave so much to me" Stanton said.
These survivors spent Saturday like many days during treatment, consciously putting one foot in front of the other, until they had a clear view of what its like to make it to the other side.