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Woodstock woman walking with a purpose

Woodstock resident continues fundraising after cancer scare

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:04 p.m. CDT
(H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com)
Woodstock resident Marilyn Grandolfo peers into a tent she uses while on fundraising walks. Grandolfo has had surgery twice in the past year – once on her knee and the other to take out a tumor in her chest. She is nonetheless continuing to raise money for a breast cancer walk, which she will complete in August. Her garage sale this weekend will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

It didn’t take a cancer scare for Marilyn Grandolfo to jump head first into raising money to research the nasty disease.

And a scare won’t stop her from continuing.

After doctors last year found and removed a tumor in her chest – which they later deemed noncancerous – the Woodstock woman will walk in another Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk this August.

This weekend, she’s putting on a garage sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 5312 Timber Lane, Woodstock. Money raised will go toward the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Those who don’t attend the garage sale can donate through Grandolfo’s personal fundraising page.

“I currently have five family members beating breast cancer and 22 friends on chemo,” said Grandolfo, 67. “That’s a lot for one woman to know.”

The Woodstock woman said she was raised on philanthropy and, for several reasons, pulled toward raising money for breast cancer – including the fact the disease touched her personally by affecting several people around her.

But also, “the walk looked like so much fun,” she said.

By Grandolfo’s calculations, since she took up the cause in 2006, she has brought in about $70,000 for the Komen foundation. She has attended at least one 3-Day Walk every year, and two during some years.

This year, she will walk attend the 60-mile walk in Michigan on Aug.15-17.

It will likely take a different feel. In December, not long after surgery to repair her meniscus, pain in Grandolfo’s stomach caused doctors to order a scan.

The pain, it turned out, was a side effect of the painkillers for the knee. But doctors found the tumor, Grandolfo said. They removed it Dec. 30.

“Ultimately, that knee saved my life, because of the trickle-down effect,” she said.

Though the experience has limited Grandolfo to one walk this year, it also has energized her in her belief that the cause is worthy. As she always has, she is walking – and fundraising – with purpose.

“I put my heart and soul into this,” she said.

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