True Girlfriends Walking for a Cure

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

October 14, 2010

Kathy Kilgore, Mary Sanders, Trea Tucker and Rosemary Cuppia

Sixty miles, three days, thousands of steps and months of preparation to make a persoanl difference in finding a cure for breast cancer…that’s on the minds of  Rosemary Cuppia, Trea Tucker, Kathy Kilgore and Mary Sanders. The four local women and longtime friends are joining thousands of breast cancer supporters in preparing for the 2010 Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day for the Cure™, presented by Energizer on October 22-24. After months of training and fundraising, participants will walk 60  miles during three days to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and community-based breast health and education programs.

I recently me with these dynamic women, who call themselves the WOW Girls! They explained with sincere and absolute resolve that they are walking to make a personal impact on the global effort to find a cure for breast cancer. And they are doing it for their friend, Rosemary who has been a breast cancer survivor for 14 ½  years.

Rosemary Cuppia was diagnosed with late Stage III Invasive Breast Cancer when she was 37 years-old, with three children.  She had seventeen lymph nodes removed, endured chemotherpay, radiation, and numerous procedures and believes wholeheartedly her survival was indebted to “family, community, the good Lord and strong faith.”

Cuppia explains, “It was a very humbling experience and definitely built character. I look at life in a whole new light. And my friends…they went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Her friends insist, “She fought so hard, but it seemed she was more worried about us than herself.”

Tucker, a friend of Cuppia’s for fiften years says, “If she was scared, she sure didn’t show it.”

Though Cuppia’s fight with breast cancer is the motication behind the foursome’s crusade to raise awareness, they are adamant that they are walking for their daughters, their mothers, their nieces, their aunts…for all their loved ones.

Kilgore, who met Cuppia in the Ninth Grade at Beaufort Academy explains, “Rosemary inspired us. “ And Tucker adds, “We’re walking for her and for all the girls!”

“You know, we’ve all known someone with this horrible disease,”  says Sanders, who was a roommate of Cuppia’s at USC. “Through our quest to get donations, people say all the time that their mother had it or their friend has it. It effects so many people.”

The consistent message that the four friends want to share is that of early detection.

Cuppia emphasizes the importance of regular mammograms by saying, “You have to catch it early.”

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the four are definitley doing their part to increase a broader understanding of the disease.

The WOW Girls each had to raise  a minimum of $2300, which will further educate tens of thousands of people about breast health. Funds raised at the 3-Day for the Cure™ impact breast cancer research, which is essential in finding a cure.

The 2010 Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ includes events in Boston, Clevland, Chicago, Michigan, the Twin Cities, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Dallas/Fort Worth, Arizona and San Diego.  It is estimated that each of these walks raise a little over $6 Million. And, thanks to events lke these, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has invested nearly $1.5 BILLION to fullfill its promise of becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

The WOW Girls are still accepting donations. If you would like to help with the global fight against breast cancer, please make a small donation to these four friends. To help, visit and type in any of these names from Beaufort…Cuppia, Kilgore, Tucker or Sanders.  Your donation will support the WOW Girls team, representing Beaufort!

Tucker, the team captain wants Beaufort to know, “Through our particpation in this event, I know we are making a personal impact on the breast cancer movement. The Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ is challenging, but the opportuntiy to have an impact is enormous.

The Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day for the Cure starts Friday, October 22 at Lake Lanier and ends with a closing ceremony on Sunday afternoon, October 24 at Turner Field.

Good Luck WOW Girls. Beaufort is rooting for you! Your friendship is inspiring.

About Wendy

Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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"I love Wendy Pollitzer’s writing. Her instincts are remarkable, her nose for truth infallible. I can’t pick up a journal or magazine that she’s written for without going straight to the table of contents in search of her piece. What I think is so interesting about her work is that she really believes in what she’s doing, in getting it right. She’s very, very good. "— Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides, South of Broad) 1945-2016