Instead of a traditional "Sweet 16" birthday party, sophomore Autumn Carter did something sweet.
Carter, who just turned 16, gathered several friends for a team and laced up her shoes to join the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Flint on Oct. 15.
Carter and her friends walked as the Teens for TaTas team. The girls had a sleepover at Carter's house and decorated their team T-shirts for the fundraiser, said Angie Wynn, Carter's mother.
They collected donations to help the American Cancer Society fight breast cancer.
"Autumn had her $100 goal reached on her first day," Wynn said.
Carter participated in honor of her godmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and had a double mastectomy. Wynn said Carter's godmother, who lives out of state, is now doing well.
"She is 100 percent cancer-free," said Wynn.
This is the second time Carter has participated in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She and her mother walked in it together last year. This year, both mom and daughter had their own team walking in the event. Wynn's team was Allure for a Cure, she said.
"What a great way to raise awareness among young people and to get involved in the community," said Evelyn Barella, Great Lakes Division of the American Cancer Society spokeswoman.
Breast cancer is the second-most frequently diagnosed cancer in women (skin cancer is the most frequent) and is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, an American Cancer Society news release said.
Since 1993, nearly 7 million walkers across the United States have raised more than $400 million to help fight breast cancer through Making Strides events. In 2010, nearly 800,000 walkers across the country collected $60 million to help fight breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
There are more than 250 Making Strides events held across the country, ranging in distance from 5K (3.1 miles) to five miles, depending on location. Individuals of all ages are welcome to participate, said a news release for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.