Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Avon 40 Mile Breast Cancer Walk

When I was in college, I joined Zeta Tau Alpha. Our national philanthropy is Breast Cancer Awareness. Throughout my college years, I volunteered at many Race for the Cure events, as well as Think Pink! Basketball and Football events at school. I supported the cause, loved the pink ribbon gear, but was never touched by breast cancer, until November 2007, when my mom was diagnosed with it.
She had a lumpectomy, completed radiation the week before my wedding, and began chemo right after Christmas last year. She was a trooper, and beat the cancer! Thankfully there were many women before her, as well as organizations like Zeta, who have supported awareness and raised money for research.
My mom has always enjoyed walking as a form of exercise, and decided that her way to pay it forward was to do the Avon 40 Mile Breast Cancer Walk in Charlotte, NC. She was drawn to this event because it's not a race, it's an event to raise awareness, with most of the money going to research in the city where the event is held (there are about 10 nationwide).
She raised around $9,000! About 1,300 people participated, raising over 2.5 million dollars!

The event was held on a Saturday and a Sunday, with 26 miles the first day and 13 the second. It's not like a race where the roads are closed off, it begins in downtown and winds through the suburbs of Charlotte. There are designated cheering sections every 2 miles or so, where there are rest stops or quick stops with drinks, snacks, toilets, and first aid.
It was extremely well organized, and so much fun!
There were not many spectators because it's on open roads, but I followed Mom and her friend Cindy as they walked from stop to stop. It rained Saturday, so my mom had me wait at mile 13 with dry shoes and socks for her... but not many people had that option as they didn't bring cheerleaders!

I also was lucky to have 3 of my wonderful sorority sisters join me at one of the stops to cheer for mom!

Overall, it was a long, tiring, but AMAZING weekend, full of great stories, inspiration, and awareness. All of the women my age are very lucky to have the women a decade or two ahead of them working so hard to find a cure so we don't have to face this awful disease.

I highly recommend checking into any race that supports a cause, not only is it good for your body, but it's good for your spirit, and that's exactly what a truly healthy lifestyle is about!

Thanks, Mom :) I'm proud of you!


  1. Very inspirational! I am so glad your mom beat it! I think it is beautiful you did this race together.

  2. I'm so glad you posted about this! I've already signed up to do the 2-day walk in Houston next April and I'm so excited! I start training this month... :o)

  3. That is so great that your mom could do the walk, that is wonderful! I did my 2nd one this year, it is just such an awesome and amazing experience! I highly recommend it!

  4. Yea Mom, we're so proud of you! And you were a great cheerleader Ash. Good job ladies!

  5. SOOO very cool! Of my 5 aunts (mom's sisters) 3 are survivors and one has passed away from breast cancer. I also have a cousin who is completing treatment so in our family breast cancer is something that we fight together. In fact,one of my reasons for getting into walking and doing the mini was to warm up for either the Susan G. Komen 3day or this race in 09 or 10... its just too important not to.

    Your mom rocks!& you too for cheering her on!

  6. Im so late to this but had to comment.
    you and your mom are so lucky to have each other.

    xo xo,