SF Avon Walk for Breast Cancer; July 7-8, 2007; 2400 participants; raised $5.6m

This walk was dedicated to Monica Cooper, who recently died after fighting a 6 1/2 year battle with this disease. May her memory be as a blessing.

We left a day early to pick up my daughter, Lori, in Santa Cruz who was coming to help Bob with signage.  (by the way she passed signage 101 after 2 days of putting up signs!)  We stopped in Santa Barbara and had lunch at the Calif. Pizza Kitchen.  The manager there was Michele, who I had met many years before.  We used to have our team dinner before the walks at that restaurant and she has continued to  support my fundraising efforts every year.  It was great to see her and she handed me a donation again.  What a sweetheart!  Thanks Michele.

Our friends, Don and Diane, came up to support this event also, which included a little 'golf'!

My daughter, Debra, is part of a team from Rancho Cucamonga, called the Rock N Racks!  There were 14 on the team and they have raised money at a golf tournament and trained together.  They are a great bunch of women, and 2 of them walked with me in 2000.  And so the network continues.........

My dear friend Robyn, from AZ, came in to do the walk.  She was the first person to do all of the walks around the country in 2000 and I remember meeting her and thinking how could anyone possibly do such a thing!  So, she really was my inspiration, and it is always great when we can share the road together.  She is 6ft. tall and manages to match her stride with mine so that we walk the whole walk together.  We did that last year in New York.  She refers to herself as my tall daughter, and I am honored to be referred to that way.

The weather on Sat. was chilly and overcast most of the day, particularly when we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.  But it is such a cool experience to do that.  I had on 4 'wicky' layers of clothing, including mittens with ski warmers in them!

At the opening ceremonies on Sat. morning, I was invited on to the stage.  I had no idea what was going on, but I was presented with a beautiful pink and white bouquet of roses and acknowledged for what I have done, and for Dr. Bob for all of his support, and for my 75th walk for breast cancer.  I was so excited I didn't actually hear what Karen Borkowsky said, but I know it was 'all good'! 

There were only a couple of hills on Sat., but Sun there were a few more.  One was so steep that Bob thought it was probably a 30 % grade.  I just look at all of that as just another challenge.  The route had to go that way because we eventually went by the SF General Hospital Mammography building that was funded by the Avon Foundation and the money we have raised.  I loved that the route went that way because it shows us what the money we are raising is really doing.  There were also a couple of organizations on the route thanking us, because they also were recipients of grants from the foundation.

I saw Lyn--Mrs. Pretty Woman--who is a survivor.  I see her every year and her husband Phil, Pretty Woman Guy, drives his truck on the route playing music to motivate us the whole weekend.  It is always so special to see them.  I think of you both often, as you have touched my life in a special way.

I also saw Martha and her fabulous, beautiful family, who all walked with her as part of the Breast Saver Team.  I met Martha and her husband last year and just had an immediate connection.  You are all so special. 

There were over 200 survivors participating on this walk, including one man.  The oldest walker was 98 yrs. old, and was a 58 yr. survivor.  I didn't see her, but would have loved to meet her.  She must really 'rock'!!

After the walk on Sun. Bob and I had a dinner for our friends and the Rock N Racks and their families and, Jean and Mike (8 city walkers), and Karen and Carol from the Avon Foundation.  My purpose was to acknowledge the team for their accomplishments.  They are walking in honor of Holly, a one year breast cancer survivor.  I think every one of them did the 26 miles on Sat.  That is incredible!  Go girls!  My 2 daughters had ordered a cake for me as a surprise that said "75th---I walk because I can't walk away' and a picture of our ribbon/heart logo.  It was to celebrate my 75th long distance walk for breast cancer.  I was very surprised.  Karen presented me with a book she had made of pictures she had of me in her 'archives'.  It is a beautiful book signed by the SF staff and some of the Foundation staff.  It was so special and I just could hardly wait to have time to sit and read each note and look at each picture.  I will definitely treasure the book and the memories of this weekend.

I feel excited about the challenge of my 100 walks and my continuing to  work towards my fundraising goal of one million dollars.  Someone called from a radio station today that does interviews with people who are doing volunteer work.  Maybe that interview will generate some dollars for the cause. 

Well, I do have a few weeks off until the 2nd week in August.  That next walk will be the Breast Cancer 3Day in Chicago.  Those are 60 mile events.

Thank you for reading my journal.  See you in August!  Stay healthy and be sure you are doing some exercise! 




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