Advocate-turned-patient has new appreciation for W3 event

Published: Sep. 6, 2012

For years, Debby Harrison of East Lansing has been a volunteer working to raise money for Sparrow and its special projects. Never, though, did she think she'd benefit directly as a Patient herself.

Today she is walking proof of the improved healthcare available to mid-Michigan women from fundraising events such as this year's 9th Annual W3 8k/5k/Ok, held from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, at the Sparrow Cancer Center parking lot just east of Sparrow Hospital, 1215 E. Michigan Ave.

"After a routine mammogram I was called back in. I was not concerned because I had no family history and I had not felt a lump. But the follow-up stereotactic breast bioscopy revealed breast cancer," Harrison said.

She underwent surgery and successful radiation treatment and remains under the care of the Sparrow Cancer Center.

"The W3 gift of the new stereotactic breast bioscopy imaging system catches more tiny grains of sand like mine, making for a positive recovery, saving lives and valuable healthcare dollars. Fundraising efforts such as this W3 event, on behalf of women all over mid-Michigan, make it so we can stay right here knowing we have the best diagnostic tools."

Proceeds from this year's event will go towards the acquisition of new resources to improve women's heart and neurological health.

The Michigan State University women's basketball team, and coach and returning 8k/5k/Ok Honorary Chair Suzy Merchant, will join hundreds to raise money, celebrate health, and revitalize. "Ok" events include health and wellness services provided by Sparrow experts, elite salons, unique boutiques and other health and beauty professionals.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., the 5k kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and the 8k immediately following. All "Ok" events run from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Race maps, registration forms, and sponsorship information can be found online at or by calling 517.364.5680.