by Sunny Layne
PARKERSBURG (KWWL) -- When a tragic illness strikes a family, a feeling of helplessness can descend.
One Parkersburg woman knows that feeling well. But she found an active way to honor her best friend and mother.
Melanie Groeneveld and her friend Jennifer Nevenhoven are people you should know.
"My daughter and I decided to cut off our hair for locks of love, it wasn't big enough I guess, so we decided to walk 60 miles instead," Melanie Groeneveld said.
Melanie Groeneveld is on a mission.
"Her and I were very close," she said.
A mission in memory of her mother.
"I think she'd be really proud and I knew she'd want me to do this to help daughters not live without their Mom," Groeneveld said. "My daughter's going to be 11 and I just want the disease stopped, for her, I and everyone else out there."
Melanie Groeneveld's mother Darilyn Luhring died of breast cancer at age 58 when Groeneveld was 27.
"If you don't think it could happen to you, neither did my mom," she said.
Now a mother of three, Groeneveld doesn't want anyone else to experience this loss.
So she and friend Jennifer Nevenhoven are taking their cause to the streets.
"Just about anyone I speak with has been affected by breast cancer," Nevenhoven said. "Sister, mother, aunt grandma."
August 21st through the 23rd in the Twin Cities these two crusaders will join thousands for the Breast Cancer Three Day, walking 60 miles in just 3 days raising money for the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation.
"I want every woman to do your monthly exams," Groeneveld said.
"Age is no barrier to this disease," Nevenhoven said. "Any age can get it."
These friends are well on their way to their goal of collectively raising $10,000 dollars.
With every step, they believe they're helping more daughters and more mothers stay together for more time.
Since our interview, Melanie Groeneveld discovered her mother-in-law has breast cancer, one in the long line of many women she knows.
To donate to these ladies' "Breast Cancer 3 Day" cause, click here.
Reporter: Sunny Layne