LEMONT – Dr. Bart Beaver, a podiatrist with A Step Ahead Footcare in Lemont, volunteered to treat walkers at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer May 30 and June 1.
Beaver was part of a group of volunteer podiatrists who served more than 250 participants before the second day of walking for the event. He treated sprained ankles, blisters and other foot ailments that otherwise would have kept the walkers from participating.
"I must have popped 120 blisters and patched them up," he said.
Beaver said he has been involved with the Special Olympics, but this was his first time working with the breast cancer walk. He said his sister-in-law had breast cancer, and they have done the walk in the past.
Beaver said he started at 4:30 a.m. treating the participants, who had walked 26 miles the previous day and had to walk 13 miles that day.
"I thought I was going to see an occasional woman," he said. "I didn't realize that I was going to be busy nonstop from the moment I got there to the moment I left."
He said it is the friction from the shoes on the feet, especially shoes that have not been broken in, that can cause problems. He also said that because some of the participants do not normally walk this much, their feet are not prepared for the wear.
Beaver said he was surprised by the enormity of the event and some of the people he saw.
"Here I am, 35 miles from my house, and I ran into three or four people I knew who were part of the walk," he said.
It helping all the people out to support a good cause that was most reward, he said.
"That's where the real joy comes from," he said.