KILLEEN (October 22, 2013)--A Killeen woman is taking on the challenge of walking walk 1,047 miles from Texas to North Carolina to spread cancer awareness.
Chanelle Mendoza, 28, said she recently decided to take the long journey in support of her father, Carey Pierce, 74, who is battling cancer.
She said her father was first diagnosed with prostate cancer about 10 years ago, which was believed to be the result of his exposure to Agent Orange when he served in the military during the Vietnam War.
Because the cancer was detected early , it was treatable, and her father was able to overcome it, she said, but, two years ago the cancer returned and this time moved toward his lungs.
Her father's weakened state and current condition is what made her decide to embark on the walk from Texarkana to Moorisville, N.C., she said.
“My dad's very important to me," Mendoza said. "He's sick and I just wanted to do something so he knows he taught me right."
She has been training by using workout games on her X-Box and walking every chance she gets.
"I'm not going to lie. Chanelle's a gamer," she said, as she referred to her usual activity.
"She likes to sit on the couch and play games, and my dad's always talking about, 'you got to stay healthy' so it’s a win-win."
Mendoza's walk begins on Oct. 29, and she said it could take as long as 28 days to complete.
"As long as I have my music and just the thought of my dad at the other end I should be good," she said.
"It's like a mental thing where I'm not going to be able to say I give up."
Her plan is to walk at least 30 miles daily, and only when the sun is out.
Mendoza is raising funds for her long trek to the east coast.
Her goal is to collect $10,000 so she can help pay for her father's medical expenses and donate to the Pink Heals movement.
She also plans to speak with many people along the way to help spread the importance of cancer awareness and early detection.