WILBRAHAM The life of Erica Beauchamp changed the instant she was diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC).
Diagnosed in September 1998, Beauchamp lost her battle in January 2006. ACC is a type of cancer that affects the head and neck. Now, friends and family of Beauchamp are reaching out to other ACC patients and walking toward a cure.
"I will respect and will always honor the light she brought into my life as well as to all she touched," Angela Mancinone, a friend of Beauchamp's, said.
The third annual Erica's Friends Walk to a Cure will take place on Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Scantic Valley YMCA in Wilbraham. A three-mile walk, all money donated will go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Beauchamp grew up in Longmeadow and was an active member in the Wilbraham community. An avid volunteer for St. Cecilia Church and school activities, Beauchamp is greatly missed.
"She was an inspiration to all who knew her and evidently from the turnout of our first walk, she inspired people who had never even met her. She was a fighter and refused to let her cancer overtake and control her life," Mancinone said.
In past years, Erica's Friends have donated $60,000 to ACC research through the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
"Our goal is to contribute $30,000 again this year to help Dana Farber continue their search for a cure," said Maggic Brochu, an organizer of Erica's Friends.
If you would like to walk or donate to Erica's Friends, please go to www.ericasfriends.com. You can bring donations and registration forms to the walk or mail them to Maggie Brochu, 17 Fairview Rd., Wilbraham, MA 01095. Walkers are also asked to raise a minimum of $25, which will go directly to ACC research. All checks are payable to Head and Neck Cancer Research in ACC.
"It's a wonderful morning full of laughter, memories and love of a very rare and special lady," Mancinone said.