Penn State Brandywine alumna to walk 60 miles for breast cancer

July 13, 2009

DeMaris Morales-Flores, who graduated from Penn State Brandywine in fall 2008 with a degree in human development and family studies, is working hard post-college to help find a cure for breast cancer.

As a participant in the 2009 Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day event, Morales-Flores will walk 60 miles over three days from Oct. 16 to 18. Like all participants in the walk, she must complete 20 miles per day and raise a minimum of $2,300. Eighty-five percent of the funds raised goes to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, and the remaining 15 percent is given to help those affected by breast cancer.

Currently an employee at Catholic Social Services in her hometown of Philadelphia, Morales-Flores said she would like to eventually find a job related to her degree but is participating in the walk in part to fulfill her innate desire to help people.

But there is a far more personal reason for Morales-Flores’ participation in the walk, one that hits close to home for her and teammates Lily Ann Serrano and Aimee Leon. Team leader Leon encouraged the women to walk after losing a young friend, Melody Chaden, 32, to breast cancer on May 28 after an eight year battle with the illness. After hearing about Melody’s death and learning about the walk, Morales-Flores decided, “I want to be part of that, too.”

“It makes me feel good as a woman to be doing this walk since 99 percent of the people who get breast cancer are women, and it’s the leading cause of cancer death among Latina women,” she said. As a woman of Puerto Rican descent, she said she feels it is important that she do her part. “I am doing something positive for myself and for women.”

Morales-Flores has already raised $1,738 toward the team’s goal of $14,000 through donations and fundraising events. The team members, who call themselves “the Pink Bees,” have raised more than $9,000 toward that goal already, including $1,000 raised at a spaghetti dinner they hosted in April. The three women are in week 16 of 24 weeks of training, which includes walking four miles per day. “It’s good for the heart and the environment,” she said, “and I’ve lost 13 pounds already!”

According to the Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day’s official Web site, all walkers will spend the night “at camp,” where they will be given hot meals, shower facilities, two-person tents to sleep in, and entertainment to help them wind down.

For more information about the walk, visit or to help Morales-Flores and her teammates reach their goal, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 13, 2009