Daughter to walk 60 miles for mom

Published 10:32 am Monday, August 25, 2008

Her mission is to heal, to connect and to commemorate a mother lost just last year to cancer.

Amber Stransky will walk in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure event, a three-day, 60-mile trek across the Twin Cities, in honor of her Austin-born mother, Sandra Stransky.

“Her maiden name is Williams, and I think that is what people would know her by,” said Amber, 23.

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Sandra “Williams” Stransky died Dec. 12, 2007 after a three-year battle with cancer, which began in her breast and eventually spread to her lungs and bones. An Austinite by roots and rearing, the late Stransky’s parents, Sam and Donna Williams, owned William’s Plumbing for decades.

So Stransky’s illness brought scores of help for her husband and only daughter, who said they rarely spent a night without meals provided.

“We had food forever,” said Amber, who grew up in Owatonna.

Her mother passed away abruptly in December, six months after she watched Amber’s graduation from Augsburg College the June before.

Re-establishing a routine after was difficult, Amber said, adding that her father also deeply struggled with the loss.

“When my mom passed away, it was really hard for my dad and I,” Amber said.

So hearing about a walk on the radio to commemorate those lost or living with breast cancer and creating an opportunity for Amber to connect with thousands of others coping in some way with the disease seemed a well-suited way for her to help resolve a difficult mourning process.

“For me, I look at it as it’s really going to be a chance for me to heal a bit,” Amber said. “I felt like this is the chance for me to walk in her memory, and to see other people who have been in really similar situations.”

The sticking point: a $2,200 entry fee to be garnered by donations for the walk, which spans from Sept. 19-21.

“I’m still looking for some good donations to get to the $2,200 by Sept. 19,” she said.

Amber has raised about $700 thus far, while infusing her days with 10-mile walks to help train for the event.

Her best friend will accompany her on the walk, which takes a winding course through the Twin Cities. Amber says she doesn’t know where on the track she’ll start.

Houston-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure is an organization supporting breast cancer research since its inception in 1982. Its work has raised more than $1 billion for research, education and health services, making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world, according to its Web site.

To donate to Amber’s walk, you can visit www.the3day.org. Search Amber’s name and follow instructions, she said.