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Breast cancer awareness walk dedicated to CBS 6 anchor Stephanie Rochon

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Breast cancer in African-American women is often more aggressive and the death rate is higher. The Sisters Network of Central Virginia is a group committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African-American community. The organization is getting ready for its big event -- The Gift For Life Block Walk -- to spread breast cancer awareness.

At the group's East Clay street office, volunteers are stuffing bags for the Sept. 26 event. It's the 11th year of the walk where teams go door-to-door to meet neighbors face-to-face.

"When people can see other survivors get up and say I survived this and they're out walking in the community, sharing information it gives people hope, " said Zelma Watkins with the Sisters Network of Central Virginia.

Once at the door, the teams ask women if they've done a monthly self breast exam and if they've gotten a mammogram. The volunteer walkers will canvass 1,100 homes from Mechanicsville Turnpike to Harvie Road in Eastern Henrico.

Kevin Nentwich has been with the walk from the beginning as a volunteer. His company, Financial Consultants of America, sponsors it.

"People from prior years had come in saying yes walked and knocked on my door and I got an exam because of that I'm here today. When you see that over and over again that's what we're after," Nentwich said.

This year's walk will be dedicated to CBS 6 Anchor Stephanie Rochon, who lost her battle with cancer in June. Stephanie was active and passionate about the event for nine years. She served as mistress of ceremonies and even went knocking on doors.

"Even though she's not with not with us physically, she's with us spiritually and we will never forget her," Watkins said.

This year's mistress of ceremonies will be CBS 6's Antoinette Essa. The event is close to her heart. Her own mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor.

CBS 6 will have a team at the walk. Volunteers are needed.

The Sisters Network of Central Virginia 'Gift for Life Block Walk' is Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Walk headquarters will be located at the Church of Christ At Sandy Lane at 3201 Sandy Lane.

  • $20 registration fee for individuals
  • $15 Registration fee for groups of 10 or more

For more information, to register or to volunteer, call 804-447-4027.