Avon Walk for Breast Cancer--Charlotte--Aug. 20-21, 2007, 1000 participants, $2.3m

This walk is dedicated to our friend Bud who recently died from cancer. 

Bob and I just arrived in Dallas to walk here for the 3Day this week end.  So this is my first moment near a computer to write about the beautiful Avon Charlotte walk.  Are any of you old enough to remember a movie called, If it is Tues it Must Be Belgium!  That's what it feels like to me!

Our trip started at LAX.  The first person I spoke to after we went through security was an 8 yr. survivor.  She saw me in my clothes with my breast cancer logo etc. and thought I was also a survivor.  That is always such a strong reminder of why I am doing this.  We also were on the flight with Calvin, who works for the media organization, and his Mom, Sally.  She was traveling with him and then they were spending some time together in Charlotte.  Sally ended up doing some volunteer work for the walk and I did see her a few times during the week end.  By the way, Sally, your Charlotte haircut was great!

The weather was quite nice in Charlotte.  It was about 80 degrees and not very humid.  The route took us through downtown Charlotte and lots of fabulous residential areas. We also went through a darling area of homes that all looked to be Victoria, and it was adjacent to the downtown area.  Looked like a fun place to live.

This weekend was bittersweet, since it is the last Avon walk for 2007.  There are many attachments with people that I see at other walks.  However, with computers, it is so easy to stay in touch and I think many of my friends will be participating next year, so we will meet again then.

I walked a couple of times with MohawkMan.  That is Dale Cooper.  His wife recently died from breast cancer after a 6 yr. fight.  Their story is written up in the Why We Walk book, so I have know them for several years.  Monica was able to be at the Avon DC walk this year though only Dale walked.  I enjoyed talking with Dale and he is courageously moving on in life with the responsibility of his 2 teenagers.  Thank you Dale for sharing the road and your heart with me.

I know I have mentioned that I am always curious when a man is walking alone, since usually less the 10 % of men participate in these events.  I asked Dee why he was walking.  He was walking for his wife Barbee, who is a 6 yr. survivor.  He wants to retire in a few years and do events like this all of the time.  I was impressed with his desire and plans as he thinks about retirement.  He won't be ready for a rocking chair at all! 

I walked with Stacy, a 32yr. old, who was walking in memory of her Mother, who died 3 yrs. ago.  She is an 8th grade teacher and has 2 very young children, but she still managed to train and do this for a whole weekend.  She decided it was just time to do something about this and ended up raising over $5000.  What a young woman!  Go Stacy!

On Sun. morning I started talking with Jim and Julie.  They are from No. California and had 6pete on the back of their shirts.  They were doing their 6th Avon walk, and their goal is to walk in every Avon walk city.  They were asking me a lot about my goals for next year and
were enthused about what I was doing.  Maybe they will walk in 2 cities next year. They had some fundraising suggestions for me for next year.  It was great fun talking to them.  I hope to see you next year somewhere!

When closing ceremonies were over all of the 8 city walkers got together to take pictures.  We just couldn't get enough pictures, of every combination of us!  We took pictures standing together, pictures of all of our hands, pictures of all of our shoes!  I can't wait to get those pictures developed (we still do that the old-fashioned way!) tomorrow someplace here in Dallas. 

So, to all of the Avon Foundation, Avon walk staff, Avon Crew, my dear Avon walkers I thank you for the privilege of sharing your time with me and sharing the road with me.  It is a privilege I carry in my heart. I have already made my commitment to walk in all 9 Avon Walks for Breast Cancer, 2008.  I look forward to seeing you all then.

Tomorrow I have to  find a 'fluff and fold' so I can wash my disgusting Charlotte clothes that have been tucked in a plastic bag for 24 hours! ugh!  

Thank you for reading my journal.  Hugs to all.  

Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
"I walk because I can't walk away"