San Diego Breast Cancer 3Day, Nov. 9-11,2007, 4600 walkers, 550 crew, $12.2m (wow!)

Coming home after the last walk and finding my house filled with flowers, banners, signs, heart confetti from my family is the most important thing to me.  Most of my family being in camp on Sat. night when I was one of the honorees is the most important thing. My family calling me all weekend or surprising me at various stops on the weekend is the most important thing.  Bob supporting me all year long by making reservations for us, driving me all over the place, and flying all over the country with me is the most important thing.  Thank you to my family for all of their love and support.  I absolutely could not do this without your support.

The weekend for Bob and myself began on Thur. when we met 3 young women from Indiana for lunch, Emily, Michelle, and Natalie.  They wrote me in the spring that they wanted to be on Team California, even though I was clear that I was not the traditional 'team captain'. They just wanted to be on the team! I walked the last 2 miles on Sun. with them and then we all walked into closing ceremonies together. It was a hoot actually having a team that was not 'family'!

My friend Laurie who I have written about, as my email stalker, walked this event.  She continued to stalk me (I say that lovingly) for 3 days, and basically never left me out of her sight.  It was fun to spend so much time together, and she was behaving as if she were my p.r. person, telling anyone that would listen about my plans for next year, etc.  She has crewed and walk about 12 events already.  Go Laurie!

I had the opportunity to meet Jordan's family (the 18 yr. old who walked all 12 events and has raised $74,000 and also has a goal to raise $1m!) and Loren's family (the v.p. from Thorlo socks who walked all the events).  They have great support from their families and it was great putting a face on the names of the people that I actually felt like I knew already.

Sat. night I was one of the honorees along with the 4 all city walkers.  Nancy Mercurio, who used to be the spokesperson for the 3Day and the woman I walked all 13 walks with in 2002), introduced each of us and it was special to have her do that.  We were presented with a lovely gift that I will always treasure and cherish.  Most of my family, Laurie, and my 3 new team members were there also, so it was a most special moment. 

On Sun. Felicia was passing out licorice and recognized me.  She works for a new magazine called Luxveria Luxurious Living.  It is a very slick publication about SD.  She had done an interview with me during the year and I was one of the persons featured in this new magazine.  She gave me a copy of the magazine and it is beautiful.  The article is about the 3Day (last year) and features several different people.  That was such an honor.  Thank you Felicia for selecting me.  I hope your new magazine is a huge SD success.

I talked with Wendy.  Wendy lives in Florida and will be moving to England in a few months.  She was diagnosed at age 28 and had a lumpectomy.  She had a reoccurrence and had a mastectomy. That was 11 years ago. Her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 (after Wendy) and her Mother was diagnosed at age 69 (after Wendy and her other daughter).  That sounded so unusual to me.  But the important thing is that they are all survivors!

I saw Debi and Melody.  They are 2 girlfriends from Atlanta.  I finally had to ask them if they were sisters, because they actually looked like twins to me, but lo and behold, just friends.  Anyway, they have a team of 133 in Atlanta and San Diego.  The team is called Angels 4 Angels!  You are doing a great job and I look forward to seeing you someplace next year.

I received an email before the walk from Allison.  She likes to bake cookies.  She told me to look for her at the end of day 2.  She has 40 bakers making cookies for/with her to give out to the walkers.  She had 1000's of cookies that she was distributing with milk--and her son and husband were helping her.  She said she has been doing this for 5 years honoring her Mom and best friend.  And wouldn't you know it, she had a special container of cookies for me.  By the way, Bob loved the macaroons and ate more than one!

It was special walking into closing ceremonies with the 12 city walkers, George, Jan and Jordan.  We actually ran---I was running to keep up the Jan and Jordan.  The ceremonies marked the end of a long walking season for me. It was a time to reflect on having completed 85 long distance walks for breast cancer and of having raised $820,000.  I could never have predicted such a commitment to either walking or fundraising when I did my first walk in 1998. Who knew!

At this time I congratulate all walkers, whether it be your first walk or your 4th, 8th, 12th, etc.  You are making a difference in the world in this fight against this disease.  You have raised the money, and you have raised awareness.  Congratulations walkers!

My thanks to all staff, crew, and volunteers on a great year.  Anyone I have ever asked for help has been there 110 percent always.  I appreciate that and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It is now time for me to move forward on my commitment for 2008:  ONE HUNDRED WALKS/ONE MILLION DOLLARS. 

Don't forget to remind every woman in your life about self exams and mammograms.

See you next year.


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