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Walking with a purpose

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By Bryan Marshall

Three years ago, Carlie Fossitt lost her best friend when 14-year-old Zach Heringer died from complications from cancer.

The Williamstown High School senior continues to raise money in Zach’s memory to find a cure for childhood cancer.

Fossitt will be joined by fellow members of the Williamstown National Honor Society

Oct. 15, for the 2011 Cincinnati Walks for Kids benefiting Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“There’s five or six from Williamstown going, but there is more than 200 just in the group (Believers) we’re walking with,” she said.

Zach, who went to school in Pendleton County with Carlie, was diagnosed with a cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma at age 10.

“He was really into sports, but he couldn’t play because of his port for his medicine,” Carlie said. “When he went into remission, he got to play basketball, baseball and soccer. At the end of our eighth grade year, he found out that it had came back and it had spread really bad.”

In 2006, Zach began his dream of raising funds for Research to Cure Childhood Cancer by organizing a group called Believers.

That group will walk again this weekend in honor of Zach, who died Aug. 1, 2008.

The fundraising walk will be held at Coney Island with registration taking place from 8 to 10 a.m.

The walk begins at 10 a.m. after a brief opening ceremony.

There is no registration fee to participate, but each walker is asked to raise at least $25.

Walkers may choose a 3-mile or 1-mile walk route.

Since the walk’s inception, more than $3 million has been raised for the hospital.

“Zach was always happy to be there even when he was sick,” Carlie said about Cincinnati Walks for Kids.

“Knowing that we are all there for him and other children is just cool.”

For more information or to register or support a walker, visit www.cincinnatichildrens.org/walk or call 513-636-2941.

To sponsor a Williamstown student,, make checks payable to Williamstown Independent High School.