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Mt. Pleasant walk hopes to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer

| Saturday, June 21, 2014, 12:36 a.m.

In honor of a familiar face in the Mt. Pleasant community, a 5K walk to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer as well as money for the Hillman Cancer Center with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Presbyterian Hospital is scheduled in the borough for 10 a.m. June 28.

James Tylka said his mom, Kathy Tylka, was diagnosed in May with pancreatic cancer.

“Her whole life she has been healthy with only the need for a rescue inhaler for acute asthma,” he said. “I was thinking how I could help people out who were in this same situation.”

Before she got sick, the retired school teacher who taught in the Mt. Pleasant Area School District for almost 40 years, used to walk around the borough as part of an exercise regimen.

“When I thought about doing some kind of fundraiser to raise awareness, I thought what better way to honor my mom than to have a walk,” said James Tylka. “And I also thought this would be a good way for the community to come together and show support.”

But, he said, his mom is not the type of person who likes recognition or attention.

“So I really want this walk to honor anyone who has pancreatic cancer or even just anyone who has cancer in general,” James Tylka said. “I want people to be aware as much as they can and show their support. Some people facing this battle might not have the support system that my mom does.”

The 5K walk will begin at St. Pius X Church on Spruce/Silver Street, go by Jack Bobbs Park and onto Terrace Avenue. From there, walkers will turn left onto Center Avenue and then make a left on Washington Street.

After walking Washington Street, walkers will turn left at the fire station onto South Church Street and continue down that road before turning right on West Walnut Street where Visitation Church is located.

The rest of the walk will include time on Eagle Street, Reservoir Street, Morewood Street, West Smithfield Street, Cherry Street, Center Avenue, Spruce Street and end on South Shupe Street at the St. Pius X Social Hall.

The deadline for registration is Sunday with a minimum donation fee of $5. To register, contact James Tylka at walkofhope2014@gmail.com or call 724-396-1750.

Registration is set for 9 a.m. with the walk beginning at 10 a.m. June 28. A prayer will be held at St. Pius X Church prior to the walk. Refreshments and snacks will be provided and a basket raffle will be held at the St. Pius X Social Hall.

“Any amount of money we raise is more than what we have now, so I'm just thrilled to pass any donations raised along to the Hillman Cancer Center,” James Tylka said.

He hopes to make this an annual event.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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