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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Hundreds lined Lafayette Street to welcome Maddie McClendon home Wednesday.

A team of volunteers from Dadeville, Auburn and Opelika have come together to walk for ovarian cancer survivor Maddie McClendon and ovarian cancer awareness.

The 18th annual Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation Mother Walk is Saturday in Homewood. In light of this week’s development of Maddie coming home to Dadeville, her team will walk in Dadeville instead.

“We decided to move our Homewood team to Dadeville where Maddie can watch in person on her front porch,” Maddie’s sister Lindsey said. “We had a team of 38 people for #MaddieStrong as well as a virtual walk being held in Auburn called ‘Maddie Strong-Auburn’ that is being held on campus.”

The walk/race started as a 5K fundraiser with the Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation (NLOCF) on National Ovarian Cancer Day.

Norma Livingston Ovarian Cancer Foundation executive director Ashley Thompson said the walk is still on in Homewood but a satellite walk will happen in Dadeville to let Maddie be a part of the event.

“She is such a special person,” Thompson said. “Her story just breaks my heart. Her family and team have been great and this is sure to be a special day. I wish I could be there.”

Thompson said the McClendon family has picked up T-shirts for the #MaddieStrong Dadeville tour of the Mother Walk but everyone who wants to participate needs to register through www.motherwalk.com. Anyone can donate to the cause through the website as well.

Proceeds from the walk have always been donated to causes related to ovarian cancer.

“We donate patient support kits to those undergoing ovarian cancer treatment,” Thompson said. “We also donate to ovarian cancer research.”

Thompson said NLOCF is set to give two grants to UAB for ovarian cancer research.

Ovarian cancer is difficult to overcome.

“There are no screening tests for it like cervical or breast cancers,” Thompson said. “Most often it is Stage III or Stage IV before it is detected and extremely difficult to overcome. Women should see their doctor if they have abnormal cramping or pain for more than two weeks. Ovarian cancer can be detected through sonar and blood tests but only after they have these symptoms.”

Lindsey said the race/walk in Dadeville will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church on Lafayette Street.

“Anyone and everyone including (Maddie’s) 5K participates are to walk/run in honor of these women who have fought and are battling this terrible disease,” Lindsey said.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.