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School supports staff during cancer walk

ENCINITAS — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and students at The Winston School in Del Mar are taking a stand to help find a cure. The walk is from 9 to 10 a.m. Oct. 4 at the school and the students get credit for each lap around the field with seven laps equaling a mile. While it’s a national commemoration, the topic is personal for them.In 2007, veteran Winston School teacher Linda Castile was diagnosed with breast cancer and this summer the assistant head of school Mary Sterling-Torretti announced she is battling the disease. Cancer free now for six years, Castile is helping raise money and awareness by leading Breast Cancer Walk-a-Thon. The school event this year not only kicks off Spirit Month but has also become a rally for Sterling-Torretti.

Castile said the walk not only raises money, but provides an opportunity to teach about tenacity and a positive attitude. “Mary has had a round of chemo and she’ll have another in three weeks but she’s back at school and doing very well. She will be there to cheer us on. It’s important that the kids see that a cancer diagnosis is manageable for the huge majority of us. I want the girls, in particular, to realize that it’s not ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die’ but rather it’s something you have to work at and overcome just as I did and Mary is doing.”

Building on the awareness and fundraising opportunities for the school, Castile and headmaster Mike Peterson are meeting with a representative for “Making Strides,” the American Cancer Society’s walk for Breast Cancer awareness. They are hoping to organize a team of Winston students and families to participate on Oct. 20 to further show their support for Sterling-Torretti and the cause.

If you’re interested in donated to the walk-a-thon or to support Castile in the San Diego events, send a check made out to Susan G. Komen to The Winston School, Attention: Linda Castile, 215 9th St., Del Mar, CA 92014.