Last September, I shared the stories of my Aunt Inge and cousin Jenn, both affected by breast cancer and the BRCA1 gene mutation they carry. Their journey’s are far from over, but thankfully, both remain cancer-free.
Today, I want to introduce you to an incredibly dear friend of mine, Andrea Smith, who is fundraising to participate in AVON‘s breast cancer walk this June. Since I can’t walk with her this year, I am choosing to support her financially and help raise awareness for AVON’s cause.
Breast cancer affects everyone, and everyone can take their place to stand and fight.
CHRISTINE: Andrea, thanks for taking a minute to share about the AVON walk you’ll be participating in this June.
ANDREA: No problem!
No one is insulated from or immune to the effects of breast cancer, but often it takes something happening to someone they love to get up and get in the game. Why do you walk in support of breast cancer? Who are you walking for?
I am walking because this cancer affects so. many. people. My grandma beat it twice, so I am walking in her honor – but I also walk for myself, my mom, my daughters, my nana, my aunts, my sister-in-laws and friends. You never know how and when this cancer might affect you. I want to be proactive.
Of all the ways to support breast cancer efforts, why have you chosen AVON this year? What do you like about their mission that compels you to raise money for their cause?
I like that not only is the money raised going towards research, but to people as well. People who can’t afford mammograms. People who have loved ones in the hospital and need a nearby hotel or meal.
Have you participated in the AVON walk before?
Yes, I also walked in 2009. The training was definitely challenging then, but that was also pre-kids. This year I think the training will be an even bigger challenge, but one I am looking forward to. I am not as physically fit as I was in 2009, but I also was not a mom. Trying to fit in training walks while you work full time and take care of 2 pre-school age children will be tough, but I don’t doubt that I can do it.
Training for a 39 mile walk is not something everyone can do – it’s not something you did when you were having your babies. What would you say to moms (or others) who are dealing with physical limitations but would still like to get physically involved somewhere?
There are several other organizations that offer shorter walks in support of breast cancer. In addition to the AVON walks, I have walked in about a half dozen Mother’s Day walks. These walks are just 3 miles, but is such a special time. My mom and I (and now my daughters) always walk together, and have been joined by various family and friends throughout the years. These walks may not raise as much money or challenge me as much, but they are a tradition I hope to keep up for decades to come.
How can we support you in your fundraising goals for this walk?
Each participant in the AVON walk is required to raise a minimum of $1,800 by June 5th, but obviously I’d love to raise more than that. Donations can be made online or by mail directly through my personal page on AVON’s website and I believe will still be accepted up to two months after the event.
So exciting Andrea. You are just as busy as the next mom, but your commitment to this cause is truly inspiring. I love that. Thanks for sharing your motivation for joining the AVON walk to end breast cancer.
No problem! Thanks for having me!
About AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer
Since 2003, 207,000 people have participated in the AVON 39 mile walk to end breast cancer. They have walked a combined 6,686,000 miles raising $550,000,000. AVON 39 helps fund research, awareness, and education while providing assistance for families currently battling breast cancer. They also supply screenings and treatment to detect breast cancer early and stop it in its tracks. AVON and their 39 mile walkers are committed to saving lives and improving lives in the battle against breast cancer.
39ers of Chicago will be walking June 6-7, 2015 along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Magnificent Mile, and through many of Chicago’s amazing neighborhoods, while also experiencing Wrigley, Buckingham Fountain, Lincoln Park, the Museum Campus, and Navy Pier. Net funds raised for the Chicago walk will directly benefit breast cancer patients in the Chicagoland area and help make sure care programs nationwide, as well as national research programs, have the resources to make the most progress possible in the fight against breast cancer.