Taking part in 3-day Loco Motion walk takes on special meaning for breast cancer survivor, her family

abredeson@islandpacket.comSeptember 23, 2013 

Amy Key of Hilton Head Island walks along Coligny Beach Thursday on Hilton Head. Key, a breast cancer survivor, is training to walk in the annual LoCo Motion event.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • The third annual LoCo Motion fundraiser for breast cancer is set for Sept. 26-29 on Hilton Head and Callawassie islands. Details: 843-815-5255, www.dothelocomotion.org

In 2010 Amy Key found a hard, dense spot in her left breast. She didn't think much of it because she had always had dense areas in her breasts. But she went to the doctor just in case.

A mammogram revealed she had three tumors. After 33 radiation treatments, five surgeries and four months of chemotherapy, the Hilton Head Island resident is finally healthy. She will celebrate her good health by walking in the third annual LoCo Motion this weekend.

The three-day event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Carolina Cups. Proceeds go to eight nonprofit breast care providers and are used for breast cancer screening and research.

The first part of the 30-mile walk/run will be held Sept. 27 at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort. The second leg will be Sept. 28 at Callawassie Island, and the final portion will be held Sept. 29 back at the Omni. LoCo Motion will begin at 8 a.m. every day.

LoCo Motion organizer and Carolina Cups founder Laura Morgan said last year's event raised about $50,000. She said many people have asked why registration is $200. She said that includes events all three days and entrance to a Thursday night party.

"It's an expensive event to produce," she said. "And unlike a lot of the other races, we don't require fundraising. We specifically designed it that way because we wanted everybody to be able to participate. ... We didn't want to put up a barrier and force people to have to hit up their family and friends to raise money. ... Our registrations are critically important to us meeting our fundraising goals and (to) be able to have enough money to pay the bills for the event and have enough money left over to give to the actual charities."

Morgan said they still need more people to register in order to make more money than they did last year. Online registration will be open until Sept. 25. People can also register at the party Sept. 26 or between 7 and 8 a.m. each of the three days.

"We've got after-parties and great bands and fantastic raffles," Morgan said. "It's going to be a really special event this year."

It's going to be particularly special for Key and her family, who are celebrating the 44 year old's triumph over cancer. Her family will also be at the event to rally behind her mother, Susan Key, who was recently diagnosed with another type of breast cancer.

Key's sister, Allison Whiten, will walk with her, and their father, Tim Key, plans to walk with his girls the last day. Their mother will cheer from the sidelines.

"So it's like I finish up my journey; now I get to help her with hers," Key said.

She said her mother's prognosis is good because her cancer was caught early.

"And that's why I love to stress the mammograms," she said, adding that a mammogram saved her own life. "Had I waited much longer, it probably would've spread."

Key said if breast cancer is caught early enough, the treatment doesn't have to be as severe as hers was. She said her mom might not even need chemotherapy.

"I'm glad I went ahead of her so she kind of knows what's going on," she said.

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.


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