Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mile by Mile

Thank you for humoring my many pictures over the past days.

Thank you also for all of your love and support together we will find a cure and put cancer into the history books.
1 along the beach
2 along the docks
3 more beach walking
4 turning off of the board walk and along to the beautiful beach homes

6 More beaches
8 Along the sailing and kayaking waters
9 into the neighborhood and to lunch
10 Full tummy and off to more marinas
11 Seal Beach
13 Along the shops and neighborhoods of Seal Beach
1/2 Marathon complete YEAH MAUREEN
14-17 Through the neighborhoods and a few surprise hills we also saw Santa along this part.
More Neighborhoods beautiful houses cheering neighborhoods
We were told at 21 that we were behind schedule mistakenly and told to keep moving or get swept. I did not take many pictures since those would slow me down, I also did not take time to stretch BAD IDEA!

This is getting hard wearing the glasses to hide the zoned out eyes man did my legs hurt

Not my most graceful finish but 26 miles down bring on day 2 after a hot shower, sleep and dinner!Day 2
0 Dome sweet Dome
1 Walking along with Maureen and Chrissy in the neighborhoods
3 miles down starting into the church zone and lots of prayerful cheering
4 Maureen at Mile 4
Mile 7 The shops I hit a Body Shop for foot gel which I put to good use at lunch
5-6 Along the Rowing stadium and more ocean front neighborhoods
10 Whoo Hoo Look how far we have gone back to the pretty beach
Our Team Down Town Long Beach
Chrissy at the finish

We did it !

A Hero

While there were many heroes and heroins who became street walkers the second weekend of September I want to introduce you to my walk hero Maureen.
Maureen has known me since my birthday (the first one!) She has been my aunts neighbor for 30+years. She is a wonderful mom to two women and a grandma to 3 beautiful grandkids. Last year she joined my Aunt and came down to cheer me on in my 3rd Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

My cheering squad from 07 Maureen is wearing black
little did she know less then 1 month later he daughter Judy was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the breast. Maureen held not only the hand of her daughter through surgeries and treatments but also the hands and hearts of Judy's 3 year old twins. By December she decided to walk in her first Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Judy Maureen and I at Opening Ceremonies (Judywas going to walk but decided she was not feeling strong enough yet.)
In August we trained together while I was visiting California we had a great time chatting and I answered her many questions about the walk.

Mile 10 of Day two

In September we walked together and I was amazed at how strong Maureen in! She had set the goal of walking a marathon over two days. Our team walked along together until lunch about mile 9 at that time we started going our own paces and she told us to go one she would get there at her own slow pace two times in the next 4 miles after stopping at rest stops we came up to her ahead of us. I hope at her beautiful age I am passing the 30 somethings. Maureen had the most beautiful smile on her face as she finished her first half marathon 13.1 miles AMAZING

At the end of her first 1/2 Marathon AMAZING!!!!

The next morning we set out to walk a half marathon together. All along the walk she kept saying how surprised her family would be that she did this. It was a blessing to walk those 13 miles together watching her confidence grow as her feet grew tired. She shared not only miles with me but her worries of what may have caused her daughters cancer, but her wisdom, confidence and grace.

Saying goodbye to her daughter Judy at Opening Ceremonies

I pray at 65 I have her strength to get up and fight for my sister, niece, friends, etc. every why I can as she has. I also pray that at 65 I have to explain to people what my pink ribbon stuff means because not only breast cancer but all cancer will be out of our worlds reality and logged into the pages of history. Until then I will walk with every day heroes like Maureen one step at a time!

Walking along with Chrissy on Day 1 along the beach
Wow 10 miles on day 2 makes 23 miles so far for the weekend!

Walking over the bridge to the Queen Mary Over 25 miles walked!Proud to have finished walking her first marathon posing with Chrissy

Full of emotions at closing ceremonies

Judy proud of her amazing mom Maureen

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fellow Walkers

Over the year I have met some wonderful people along the walk. Over the past 4 years I have walked along these great people and thought I would share a few stories. Click on their names to go to personal pages for more information about each walker.

Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
Barbra Jo is a breast cancer survivor who is determined to fight breast cancer. This year she will hit an amazing milestone 100 walks and raising over $1,000,000. Next time you wonder what can one person do think of Barbra Jo's story of survival. Barbra Jo's husband the wonderful Dr. Bob hangs signs along the route motivating walkers with humor and seriousness. Together this family is making an amazing difference.

Martha McMahon
Martha is by far one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She started out as a walker and the year she turned 50 she turned into a super walker and walking in her first all city walk year.

Judy Cherry
Judy is my favorite Avon Walk Photographer and a Breast Cancer survivor. Last year when I decided to walk with my big honking camera I noticed Judy walks with hers also. This year we have fun shooting each other. She is another all city walker, her wonderful jewlery and wares are on of the best parts of check in night.

Tia Bruno
Tia is a breast cancer survivor. She was the key note speaker and walker my first year. I was and I am still struck by how young she is. She had to fight to have her lump taken seriously since her first doctor told her she was to young and healthy to have breast cancer. Her signature while walking is her well place pink ribbons. By the way check out her amazing LONG hair, she told me she had not even trimmed it in 5 years.

Evan Lynch
Evan is a crew member from my team Peggy's Spirit his mom is a walker. He is such a strong supporter he even wears his hair in support. He was such a celebrity on the walk that when one of us was taking a picture of all of his fans a crew member came up and said "I can arrange to have a picture taken with him if you would like." We all had a great laugh about that one. By the way that team member is Diane who is getting her feet rubbed in a previous entry. Even was on the ice crew and seemed to be everywhere we were. He gave everyone amazing energy!

Okay so everyone has there own nickname for the Amazing April. Every year she is out there in her black SUV cheering on the walkers if great music and her dancing energy. Last year she even walked!

Avon Walk 2008

This past weekend I joined almost 2,000 other women and men for a little stroll through Long Beach, CA (okay so maybe 40 miles is not a little stroll!) It was a fun way to raise money almost $2,000 and awareness of Breast Cancer. I hope you enjoy my travels through pictures. This week I will be posting a blog a day of other walk highlights.

After registration we met up as a team for a picnic dinner. One of the highlights were the kids Sydney Chrissy's daughter and Evan Maureen's son were the hit of the party. They also got along famously. Sydney cried for almost 5 minutes after we put her in her stroller taking her away from Evan more about his hair later in the week.)
This year my reason for walking became more personal. Maureen my Aunts neighbor came to cheer me on last year and less then a month later her daughter Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer. Judy was going to walk with us but she did not feel strong enough. Maureen did walk and did amazing (there will be a whole post about her later in the week.)
Here we are leaving the Queen Mary and crossing over the bridge into Long Beach 2 notes for this picture.
1. Notice the mans head that is Flat Mike you will see more of him in these pictures. Mike is an all city walker and he started our team Peggy's Spirit (Peggy was mikes mom she lost her battle to breast cancer.) Mike was walking in the 3-day walk in Seattle this weekend so he was walking with us in spirit.
2. Look at Diane yes she is walking with a laptop! No she is not planning on bloggin along the way although it does make for a good story, instead she was planning on leaving it in Jim's car and we did not meet up with him until mile 1.5.
Here are some of my favorite sign, another favorite
Men are like Bra's
But with Better Support

The good guitar student I am I did not miss a practice even while walking!
These plants were so pretty!
Okay not the best picture but I love my sisters face as she is caught eating a high energy walk food NERDS candy! There is candy all along the way to keep our energy up.

Diane and I walked most of the first day together here she is stopping to smell the roses in our annual picture. She is looking gook for 15+miles.

Diane , flat Mike and I enjoying a quick break the Boot Scootin rest stop 17. I love the sign behind my head "Give the boot to Breast Cancer"Strutting to the finish of day 1 yes we are really dancing after walking 26.1 miles!
Yeah the end!!! I was so happy to be greeted by my wonderful sister who had walked 15 miles and came in early. She set up out tent and had everything ready for me. the best part was when she handed me my shower bag telling me "If you crawl in this tent you will never get back out!" Words of wisdom when I came back from my shower she was taking a little nap.
I was so happy to sit in the comfortable massage chair complete with foot massager's AAAAAAHHH! Look at my face can you tell I was in a little pain. After my yummy spaghetti dinner I spent time in the med tent getting blister care and the chiropractic tent checking out my sore knee and very tight thighs OUCH. I figured if I kept my therapist laughing I would not notice the pain. It was worth a try when she told me "this might hurt a little." I replied "So what your really saying is this is not the massage tent honey!" Well that theory did not totally work out as she put her thumbs through my tender muscles (I was able to walk out, way better since I shuffled in!) but it did make me a mini celebrity the next morning I was falling out of my tent and giggled at my self and in the tent across from me I hear "Feeling better? You were so happy at chiropractics!"
Our Team Peggy's Spirit getting ready to start day 2 only 13.2 miles to the finish!
Top Row: Jean, Diane, Maureen, Julie, Patrica, Maureen Bottom Row: Me, Diane, Chrissy (my sister)
The power of prayer is strong on Sunday! We pass by many churches one even open up it pottys with running water to us (remember not only do we walk 40 miles in two days and raise $1,800+ we commit to two days of porta potties!) During this stretch there were members of two or three churches giving us high fives, water, and of course more candy!

This was the moment of the walk my sister looked most forward two giving Sydney(her daughter) a big kiss and hearing her cheer "yeah yeah" 2 years ago when Chrissy walked she was pregnant with Sydney.
During the last mile of day2 walking over the bridge and still smiling!Peggy's Spirit crossing the finish line toghether!

Our fans along the way 1. Tom Chrissy's husband surprised her on day 2, he helped take care of her hurt foot.

2. Jim Jean's wonderful husband he was there cheering us one every mile . Here he is handing our a walker favorite Red Vines MMMMM

3. Sydney, My mom, and Auntie Pattie

4. Evan while crewing her managed to be every where even giving foot massages.
Closing ceremonies are always full of emotion Jean is giving Maureen a big goodbye hug (would you believe they are both 65)
The emotions of closing ceremonies Chrissy, Diane, and Maureen
Raise your hand if you have been touched by breast cancer. This is always the most emotional
part of opening and closing ceremonies for me.

The bottom picture is just some of my fellow walkers.
Chrissy and I signing the tower with why we walk! It was such a pleasure walking with my sister together in memory of our grandma Mama Lu. How often do you get to spend two whole days with your sister walking and chatting!
When I returned home I drove up to find this on my garage. Have I mentioned lately how wonderful my husband is! I wonder how many of the neighbors thought I was suffering from breast cancer. Hopefully with with $5 million+ dollars raised in LA a cure will be found before anyone else wears this ribbon as a survivor.
Remember every 3 minutes a person is diagnosed with breast cancer. Early detection is your best chance of survival so please don't forget to do your monthly self exam and get a mammogram.