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By BRANDON BANKS Whitney Addington cares. She cares about her family, her friends, her school and her community. But most of all, Addington cares about a cause. Addington, a student at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, will participate in a grueling three-day 60-mile walk to raise support for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a breast cancer awareness organization. The rain or shine event, which will be Oct. 24-26 in Atlanta, is drawing women from all over the country to participate. Dr. Thelma White, president of ECTC, said she “is very proud of Whitney’s participation in this walk.” But she’s not the only one giving glowing reviews. Beth Jefferson, a former instructor of Addington’s, is full of praise as well. “I have no doubt Whitney will achieve her goals,” Jefferson said. Addington has done much to achieve her goals. She has attended ECTC since 2005 though she didn’t graduate high school until 2006. She took courses early to acclimate to the college environment, as well as to get ahead academically. Her determination not only has served her well in academia, it has gotten her promoted into management at Best Buy. At age 20, she manages a department full time — and often pulls overtime — in addition to the full-time load she carries in Internet courses. Addington began training for the three-day walk in May and said she will complete all 60 miles of the walk, no matter how difficult it becomes. “But it’s not about how far you walk,” she said. “It’s really about raising awareness for breast cancer. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but nothing like this.” Addington has a lot to walk for; she has been touched several times by breast cancer. First her grandmother had it, then a friend of her family’s. Recently, a friend she met through work fought a battle with the disease. All of this has motivated Addington to tighten her shoes and tighten the reins. For a while, her training plan included walking seven days a week, sometimes upwards of 10 miles a day. That’s a strict regime, but Addington is a dedicated person. She will celebrate her 21st birthday on the trip to Atlanta. While many people use their 21st birthday as an excuse to practice self-degrading behaviors, Addington will give the day in selfless preparation for what she calls the biggest accomplishment of her life. She’s even giving herself a birthday present: a pair of custom walking shoes made specifically for her feet and for this event. Not only will the shoes help her remember the three days, but they will help prevent blisters, a potential disaster. “I know I’ll get tired,” she said. “But the walk will be so inspirational. I’ll feel so much energy thinking about everyone who has donated to me. It will give me strength knowing they had faith.” In addition to the event in Atlanta, Addington will walk in the Race for the Cure in Louisville on Oct. 11. She hopes to take inspiration from both events and, combined with her education, management experience and love for life, start a breast cancer awareness walk in Elizabethtown. “I love E-town,” she said. “And I want to do good things in this city. I love this place and everything about it. Elizabethtown is a great community to live in. It’s a great place to try to make a difference.” Each person must raise a minimum of $2,200 to participate in the Atlanta walk; so far Addington has raised $1,350. Anyone wanting to learn more about the event or to donate to Addington’s effort can visit 3-Day.org. To donate, click on the “donate now” link and type her name in the provided field. Also, on Oct. 9 Beef O Brady’s on Ring Road in Elizabethtown will donate 10 percent of sales between 5 and 10 p.m. to Addington for the walk. Patrons can mention her name at the door for her to get a percentage. Brandon Banks is a resident of Elizabethtown and is managing editor of The Street, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s student newspaper.