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Local mother joins national walk

to support breast cancer research

By Lyn Giancotti

Correspondent

TOWNSEND — Jaima Baldwin is always busy with something. The married mother of four is doting parent, hard-working professional and president of the local PTO. But now, she is adding another task to her already busy schedule: Helping to cure breast cancer.

Baldwin decided to raise donations and participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Boston on May 15 and 16. This will be her fourth year participating.

“I walk for my nana. I miss her and think about her every day, almost twelve years later. I walk for friends who are battling breast cancer right now. I walk for my daughter in the hopes that we find a cure,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin does interval walking and running, about three miles a day to train for the event.

“I have new sneakers and I love to walk so training is fun for me,” she said. “The dogs love it and my son Jake is happy to sit in the jogger and tell me which way to go.”

This year Baldwin will be walking with her friend Jennifer Dee of Townsend. They will walk a combined 39 miles in two days. “You get chills when you are walking, it’s so inspirational. Just being surrounded by all this amazing people gives you the energy to keep on walking,” said Baldwin.

It’s not too late to join their team and they are looking still for a catchy team name.

Baldwin has been involved with the Parents Teachers Organization for nine years and has been PTO President the last two years. She coordinates fundraising events for Spaulding Memorial Elementary School for field trips and additional activities for the students and teachers. Baldwin also is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. Arbonne creates personal care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind. She also volunteers for a locally based group of moms who provide meals to those in need.

“Breast cancer is a big disease, one that affects far too many people and I’m determined to put an end to it,” said Baldwin. Participants are required to raise at least $1,800 to participate. Baldwin has set a personal goal of $2,500 but asserted it would be great to collect $5,000. So far, her fundraising efforts have produced $1,075.

“In this economy I’m still getting large donations,” she said. “Cancer affects everyone in one way or another. People want to have that cure and are willing to part with their money to help.”

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is the Avon’s largest fundraising initiative, and also one of the largest fundraising programs in the country. From 2003 through 2008, the Avon Walks have raised more than 265 million dollars, funds that are directly saving lives. In 2008 alone, thousands of donors supported more than 24,000 walkers and crew raising nearly $60 million in the national nine-event series.

The Avon Foundation awards initial grants at the end of each Avon Walk to ensure funds begin to immediately support access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer in the geographic area of the walk. Grants are awarded to local, regional, and national breast cancer organizations to support five areas of the breast cancer cause, including: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research.

Baldwin said that she has to use calendar help manage motherhood, volunteering, working and getting ready for this huge event. “This really keeps me focused and feel under control,” she said.

To support Baldwin’s efforts you can make a donation by going to: www.avonwalk.org/goto/jaimabaldwin.