Stepping Up and Out

A week or so ago, I wrote a post called The Superhero, where I told you how committed I am to ending breast cancer and why.  I asked you to join the army of superheroes out there and spread the word about breast cancer prevention during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Today, I’m asking you to continue the fight the rest of the year too.  You can make a huge difference.

Think there’s nothing you can do?   Of course there is something you can do.  You can walk.  That’s right, walk.  Here are a few opportunities to put lots of money where your mouth is (to paraphrase an old saying).

Susan G. Komen Events:

Susan. G. Komen  for the Cure has brought over $1.5 billion to the cause since Susan Komen’s sister started it in 1982. She did it to fulfill a promise to her sister that she would continue the fight against the disease that soon would claim Susan’s life.  The organization  holds events all year to raise both awareness about breast cancer and funds to fight it.  These are just two. Visit the website, where you’ll find something that fits your lifestyle.

The Susan. G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is held in 15 cities during the year.  Held over a long weekend, participants walk up to 20 miles per day during the 60-mile event.  To participate, each walker commits to raising $2,300.

Even though I know you could do it, 60 miles may sound too daunting for the first time out.  There are over 120 Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure 5K events held in 2010. Next year will be no different, I’m sure.

5K is just a skosh over 3 miles.  There is no fund-raising requirement, though many do raise money for the event.  But even if you can’t raise a dime, just your participation helps.

If you don’t think a gaggle of women and men hoofing it down a city street dressed in hot pink t-shirts emblazoned with slogans like Save the Tatas, Save a life, grope your wife, and Real men wear pink doesn’t raise awareness, think again.

Note: There were several of these events held in Italy this year too.  I know I have at least one follower who lives in Italy and is also a runner…

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer holds nine walks a year in major cities all over the US.  This one, I can speak about personally, because I’ve done it.  A year and a half ago, both my husband and I, neither of us spring chickens, joined our daughter, Lisa (the Superhero and breast cancer survivor) on the walk.  The minimum fund raising requirement is $1,800, but Himself and I raised over $2,500 each.  Last year, Lisa and her team raised over $28,000.  In 2009, the Avon Breast Cancer Fund gave over $6 million to “125 non-profit Community Based Organizations across the country –  with at least one in every state – for education and outreach programs. These programs will collectively navigate 120,000 women next year into mammography screening and will educate 500,000 others on breast health and the importance of early detection.” (Source: The Avon Foundation)

The Avon Walk is held over two days on a weekend. The first day is 26 miles (the length of a marathon); the second is 13 miles.  I had never walked more than 3 miles on a treadmill.  To take to the streets of Boston, Cambridge, and several other surrounding towns to walk 39 miles was a scary proposition.  We trained by walking a lot more than usual during several months leading up to the walk.  We ended up walking 19 miles the first day, and 13 miles the second.  And you know what?  In retrospect, we think we could have walked the whole thing. We just didn’t have faith in ourselves.  We worried that if we finished the 26 miles the first day, we wouldn’t be able to move let alone walk another 13 miles the second.  Well, I’m here to tell you that the second 13-mile day was a piece of cake.  It was raining, it was very hilly, and it was easier than the first day to complete, because we knew we could.

Completing anyone of these or the other walks or runs for breast cancer runs not only helps the cause, it will be an amazing experience, I promise you.

You will be among people of all ages (the 3,000 people in our walk ranged from 18- to 75-years-old).  The men and women who are your companions will be women with breast cancer sporting pink scarves covering their bald heads and beautiful glowing faces; breast cancer survivors like Lisa; the family and friends of women who have breast cancer; and people walking in honor of women who have lost the battle.  Every one of them is a superhero.

 

(Source: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer)

 

You can get a hug from Moo Cow Guy, a wonderful man who puts on a silly cow costume (complete with tatas) and somehow manages to show up at Avon Walks around the country to cheer the walkers on.

 

(Source: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer)

 

You will see pictures, read signs and hear stories that will bring tears to your eyes.

And you will see outlandish outfits that will make you laugh.  In fact, laughter will be all around you.

 

(Source: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer)

 

You will see your city in a whole new way as you follow the route.  And nearly every step along the way, you will be cheered on by people holding signs that say “Thank You”; people who will give you gifts like ribbons, beads and other little tokens of their appreciation; people who will offer you a cookie or a glass of lemonade.

And when you are done, you will feel wonderful.  You will know you are a Superhero too.

P.S.  And just so you know, on the Komen 3-Day and Avon walks, there are “sweep” vans that will pick you up when you get tired and take you to the next rest stop (or even to the end, but I know you won’t want to do that once you’re in it).  I can’t walk that far is no excuse.  Besides, you will be astounded at how far you can walk.  I was!

************

The Superhero’s Favorite Chili recipe has been posted as part of the Saving Second Base project, hosted by Rachel at A Southern Fairytale and Tricia at Once a Month Mom.  If you are a fan of chili, check it out.

Thank you, Rachel and Tricia, for your wonderful project to raise money for this cause!

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12 Responses to Stepping Up and Out

  1. souldipper says:

    Great that you are such a strong supporter, Pattiken. We have a host of activities in our area, too, and it’s amazing how the enthusiasm spills over and over and over! I’m convinced that is part of the treatment.

  2. buttercup600 says:

    What a wonderful supporter you are..way to go my dear friend. We are hosting a breakfast next Saturday, about 40 girls together and such a great honor to be part of it. I love you for spreading the word. Much love dear Patti oxoxox

  3. It’s your follower in Italy weighing in. This year I’m coming to the states to do my small part. For you runners, don’t forget The National Marathon To Finish Breast Cancer in Jacksonville, FL on February 13, 2011. It’s called 26.2 With Donna after the local radio personality and breast cancer survivor who started it. If you go to their website (http://breastcancermarathon.com) under “Race Our Events” there’s a category called “Why I’m Running” with inspirational testimonies by the runners. Powerful stuff.
    I’ll be there. Hope to see you, too.

  4. Jamie Dedes says:

    All good information and well presented. Thank you!

    I checked out Tricia’s site and read your post and commented on “Superhero’s Favorite Chilli.” So wonderful to see how you support your daughter, Patti. A little choked up here …

    Okay for me to re-blog this?

    If I can come up for air in a few days, I’ll see about a contribution to the cookbook Tricia posted about.

    Thanks again for doing this. Just spent the day holding hands with an elderly friend who has recovered from breast cancer only to learn she has lymphoma. Heartbreak. That’s why I’m behind in posts and visits. It was important.

    • PattiKen says:

      Re-post away, Jamie. The more people we reach, the better. It would be wonderful to see an end to this disease in our lifetime.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. I can’t imagine how devastated she must be to get that news.

      • Jamie Dedes says:

        Thanks. I agree about getting the word out … so really big thanks for repost … even only a few more people see it, it helps.

      • Jamie Dedes says:

        And yes … it’s not a pleasant thing for her, but she’s one of my treasures – dear and an inspiration – and she Lives her life fully enjoying everything. I love her very much and consider it an honor to know her.

  5. Pingback: Stepping Up and Out (via PattiKen and the Muses – Home Away from Home) « MUSING BY MOONLIGHT

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