BARBARA JO KIRSHBAUM

2007 BREAST CANCER 3•DAY

Twin Cities--Breast CA 3Day--Aug. 24-26, 2007--2500 walkers--$7m


Wow!  Where to begin!  It seems that I wrote so many notes to myself from this walk.  I have to write notes because by the end of the day of walking I don't remember what I want to write about.  It all becomes a blur!!  I don't know whether to attribute that to age or walking 20 miles, but nevertheless that is what happens to me.

The Twin Cities walk was great.  And it was really special since that area had so much going on in the last few weeks--I am referring to the bridge collapsing, and to the horrific rainstorms.  Those things did not reduce the enthusiasm and participation of the walkers.  Hats off to all of you as a community!  You didn't let anything get in your way of carrying on in the fight against breast cancer.

Even the weather gods were in their favor.  All 3 days were great--not too hot for walking 20 miles each day, and overcast some of the time which is always good to me.

When the trip to the Twin Cities began we were in the plane ready to depart and the flight attendant announced that there was 'weather' in Minneapolis and our departure would be delayed.  I could not help but think about all of the options of a little delay, a medium delay, and a huge delay!!  What actually happened was that we were only an hour late from our original arrival time.  And the luggage gods were also on our side.  All luggage arrived, even though it was the last and I was again thinking about alternate plans!  But, as I have mentioned before, I now carry clothes for day one and my special banner, as carry-on--just in case!

This walk had such great team names.  I wish I had written them down.  There was the Lick Cancer Team  giving out buttons and Jody's Couch Team was also giving out buttons.

The rest stops were wonderfully creative.  One was the Wizard of Oz and they were a riot and didn't miss a trick from costumes to singing.  There was a 50's rest stop where everyone was dressed with their crinoline skirts and 50's music.  I particularly loved that one--(my era)!  But the one that I thought was such a hoot was the Boob's Anatomy!  Everyone was dressed in scrubs and had their m.d. names on their backs:  Dr. Mc Mellons; Dr. Mc Titty; Dr. Mc Boobs; Dr. Mc Knockers; Dr. Mc Expanders.  They were giving (pretend) shots of adrenaline in the fanny.  I thought I needed 2 shots to get me through the rest of the day.  All of the crews were so creative.  It really makes you look forward to seeing what the next stop will be.

I noticed that at camp there was a special, larger tent for the person who was the largest fundraiser.  There was a sign outside the tent acknowledging her feat.  I also like that there is a sign up about 1 mile before the next stop.  It helps me mentally to know how much time til the next port a potty!  I think they have been doing those signs for a couple of years.  I like that.  The new bright tents are quite striking at a distance!

The route was great.  There were some trails, but also some fabulous residential areas.  We were also in areas where we saw the beautiful skylines of the Twin Cities.  Bob liked the route though he had a hard time with his 'signage' when we were on trails.  He is much more aware of the routes than I am because he is driving it and putting up his pink signs.  I often don't notice much if I am walking/talking at the same time!  My visual focus is often on the ground so I don't trip.

I did spend walking time with George from MI, who is doing all 12 walks.  He is 75 years old and a real role model for everyone!  Anyone who speaks to him is impressed with what he is doing, but more than that, he is such a humble man doing 'his thing'.  George, it has been such an honor to know you since your first walk in 2002.

Spending time with Jan from Seattle who is also walking all of the 12 walks, is always special.  She has such a desire to do meaningful work.  She is an advocate on many levels and is making a difference one step and at a time. 

I was able to walk with Jordan and Loren.  Jordan is the young woman (18) who got Thorlo socks on board to become a sponsor of the 3Day.  Loren is the person from Thorlo who walks the walks with Jordan.  I am so impressed with Jordan.  She will absolutely for sure make a difference in this world.  She is a young visionary and will make it happen.  Talking with Loren was also special.  I am impressed with him and the Thorlo organization for their commitment to raising a million dollars for breast cancer.  Thanks for slowing up your pace to walk with me!

I talked to Barbara who is 64 yrs. old and flew in from S.F to walk with her daughter in law, Kathy.  This was the 2nd yr. that Kathy was walking and had created a team of 10 this year!  Barbara managed to find me every day and we were able to at least say hi more than once!

This was Bruce's 2nd walk.  He works for the VA and recently got his M.A. degree.  He leads a team and organizes all of their training walks.  Bruce, you are a great role model, especially for your kids.  Thanks for slowing up to walk with me!

Peggy was doing her 2nd walk.  She does marketing for a bubble bath company.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  I don't know anyone else who makes bubble bath!  She was doing the walk by herself, but one is never really alone on these events.

There were 2 young women, ages 17 and 18 who had each lost their mother last year to breast cancer.  They met in a grief group and were walking together.  What does that say about our young people?  Go girls!

Josie has a prosthetic leg.  It was amputated when she was 5 yrs. old, as a result of a farm accident.  Watching her walk from behind you would never know, until you looked down at her right leg.  She clearly doesn't  let anything stand in her way.

Then there was the Red Couch.  It was Jody's Red Couch.  The family moved the couch 2-3 times each day for all of us to sit on Jody's couch.  She died 3 1/2 weeks before this event last year, and because she spent her last days on the couch, the family shared that with us.  They gave out buttons with Jody's picture:  I sat on Jody's couch.  Her children Taylor and Ryan were there.  Thank you Jody's family for sharing her Red Couch with us.  I am crying as I am writing this.

Jill, 32 yrs. old, was doing this walk alone.  She is an only child married to a man who is the youngest of 10 children!  The important thing is that her cousin was recently diagnosed and was beginning treatment that very day.  Thanks for sharing your story Jill.

Bob and I were talking with Sara (an artist) and her sister (just completed her PhD)..  Sara was diagnosed at 30 when she was nursing her baby. Sara is a 4 yr. survivor.  Go Sara!

At breakfast I met the WWW team.  That stands for Went Walking With! Steve is the guy on the team, which is in memory of his wife Janet.  They are a group of women that are curlers (I don't think we have that sport in California!)  When Janet was diagnosed they formed a team and started walking. Janet died in 2005, and there are now 28 people on the team and have raised over $50,000.  Thanks for sharing with me.

Casey and Erin slowed up (everyone has to slow up to  talk with me!) to chat.  They are a young couple with a 1 yr. old son.  They have been married for 3 yrs. but even before they married they walked in the Chicago 3Day in 2002.  I am so impressed.  Wouldn't that be great if other young couples realized that they could make a difference in the world?  I am proud to have met you both.  Your son is a lucky kid to have such great parents.

At the end of day 3 I met Betty.  She had walked last year and then in Dec. she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She completed radiation just 2 weeks ago, and has had some other problems since May.  Can you imagine that she was there doing this walk?  She said that she just made up her mind to do it!  Wow!  Go Betty.  You are the hero!

I also saw Lois Anderson.  She was the lady from last year who sent her friend's out looking for me because she wanted to meet me.  This year we met at a rest stop, 'before she had to send out the stalkers'.  She was having a rough time, but was walking the last part into closing.  I had the opportunity to meet her brother Dan.  It is like meeting old and dear friends.  It doesn't matter that we live far away, and see one another once a year.  There is an incredible connection that goes on, and I feel really blessed by these opportunities.  Thanks, Lois, for being one of my favorite stalkers.

I think this has been a rather long journal writing.  I am probably still fired up since I got home at midnight last night and it is just early the next morning.  I am still having the 'feel good' that goes along with walking 60 miles and meeting the most incredible people in the world.

Thank you for reading the journal.  Please don't hesitate to send me any names you would like me to wear pink ribbons for on my banner.  I treasure the opportunity to take those names with me as I walk the next 7 walks for 2007.

Hugs,
Barbara Jo
 

 

 

Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
"I walk because I can't walk away"
www.bjkcounselor.com