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FARMINGTON — Every year, Kathryn Weatherby participates in the 5-mile Cancer Walk-a-Thon in memory of her mother, Jeanne Hord.

Eleven years ago, Hord died of pancreatic cancer.

"She was my best friend," Weatherby said as she walked through Berg Park during the Walk-a-Thon Saturday.

In addition to raising awareness about cancer, the annual event raises money for the San Juan Medical Foundation and the Connelly Hospitality House, which provides lodging for family of cancer patients who come to Farmington for treatment.

Many of the participants take the time to remember family members and friends who died of cancer.

Weatherby said earlier in the day she was thinking about her mother and Christmas.

"She always made holidays special," Weatherby said. "She actually made every day special."

The walk also draws people year after year to walk from near the Connelly Hospitality House through Berg Park and back.

Crista Farmer has participated with her dog, Quaid, for four years.

Farmer's grandmother had breast cancer twice, and one of her friends died of cancer.

She has also seen the importance of the Connelly Hospitality House through volunteering.

Her mother started volunteering at the hospitality house, and Farmer has volunteered there once. Farmer's 8-year-old son will sometimes go with her mother to make beds at the house.

"She takes my son with her so that he can learn about volunteering," she said.

While many families walked together Saturday, companies also organized groups to participate. Shelley Stickler was on the XPO Energy team. She brought her grandson, Carter Brown, 3, to the walk and the two of them rode their bikes down the path.

Stickler said events like the walk are important because they raise awareness.

"We have to have that awareness not to take things for granted," she said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.

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