2002 AVON BREAST CANCER 3-DAY

BARBARA JO KIRSHBAUM

 

This has been an amazing adventure that began in August 2001, when I decided to do several Avon 3-Day Walks. By October, I had committed to all 13 Avon 3-Day Walks. The adrenaline rush has been pretty intense since then. As of this writing I have completed the San Diego, Miami, Dallas and D.C. walks, which were on consecutive weekends beginning April 12, 2002. People ask me all of the time, which is the best, and the truth for me is that each one has been great. The terrain and the environment are different, but this whole experience is about the people and the cause. There seems to be a bonding that goes on that is intrinsic with the event.

So far for 2002, I have raised $60,000 and will continue fundraising until October. In the last 4 weekends: I have shared the roads with 13,900 remarkable and dedicated men and women, I have walked 251 miles, I have shared the story of Teresa Villa and Team Teresa and I have been part of a group that has netted 16 million dollars that will go towards breast cancer research and education and access to care.

I have had so many unique experiences. Here are some of the highlights.  I will add to this page after each walk.

San Diego

 

• Walking with the San Diego Team Teresa gang

• My friend Belle being part of the sweep team

• My daughter Ronda and Ron Villa putting up signs for Team Teresa

• The $20.00 donation from a passing driver

• The e-mail from Bridget who found me through Pallotta TeamWorks

• The quote in the San Diego newspaper

Dallas

The weather was a little bit of everything from overcast to rain to hot and humid, but who can control the weather. I loved the bed at the Westin Hotel the night before the tent. I had a fun roommate named Mary Jane Bush who had never camped before! Sold all of Ronda's bracelets. The walk was mostly residential and I was told we walked almost over our own tracks, what did I know! People handed me donations for my fundraising and Joan was the angel who drove 45 minutes out of her way to get me to my hotel near the airport.

Miami
• Part of the experience was traveling alone
• Going to dinner in Boca with Phyllis' parents
• The humid weather and being sure I drank enough Gatorade and water to not dehydrate 
• Talking to Mo and Liz
• Seeing Carolyn who was crewing from Ontario
• Meeting Dennis and Jodi (from Atlanta) the father and daughter I walked with
• The signs that were faxed ahead to my hotel and that were decorating my room
• Bob and Ronda meeting me at the airport
• The house decorated when I arrived home
• Being honored to say a few words at closing ceremonies representing the 3400 walkers.
D.C.

 

Bob and I actually met at the hotel in D.C. about 15 minutes apart, as planned. We were pleased that all worked out. We toured D.C. for a couple of days and then went to Baltimore Convention Center to register on Thursday. I immediately saw Deb of Sole Mates, who I had met in San Diego. We had dinner with some of her team, that was a great welcome to D.C. 4500 walkers!! The biggest group so far for me. Friday night was really cold in the tent, about 40 degrees so I decided to hotel it Saturday night. It turned out to be a wise decision since it also rained and some tent sites were flooded. Closing ceremonies were on Pennsylvania Avenue with a view of the Capitol behind. So many people commented on Bob's signs that he put up along the route. I was impressed with everyone's stories and so many young people saying they "want to make a difference".

Boston

 

Everyone continues to ask me which walk is my favorite and really they have all been special. But certainly having snow and freezing temperatures was unique! I haven't experienced that on and 3-Day before. That happened on Day 2. I could not even feel my toes. When I got the lunch at 11:45, they were not letting us walk any further because of the danger of hypothermia. They took walkers to a school instead of tenting.

The first night I set up camp and planned to stay-had a shower and ate dinner. At the entertainment on Friday night they announced there was a 100% chance of rain. With that information, I chose to stay at the hotel with Bob. 

On the second night, they asked that if anyone lived close please go home and get warm and get sleep so they could take care of those that had to stay. I am amazed that there is always a plan B or C that works out. You can't predict so many things in an event like this.

I am sitting on the plane writing this and the flight attendant just gave me a check for $100.00- too awesome. That was another 1st.

Closing ceremonies were in Boston Commons. We were there for 5 hours since it was only a 16-mile day and started the walk at 6:30 am. Walked around talking to people and selling Ronda's crystal bracelets. Everyone recognized my Team Teresa hat and shirt because of the signs Bob had on the route. He was a hero in his own right- sounds like it was inspiring and motivating to many people. Some even asked about buying Team Teresa shirts.

Michigan
Arrived in Ann Arbor on Wed. evening. I was traveling alone this time. I am always excited and filled with anticipation, even though this was the 6th walk since April 12th. I walked around Ann Arbor and registered for the walk on Thurs. The Pallotta staff are the only familiar faces for me in a new city and they are always friendly and welcoming. Most of the Mich. walk was very flat and through residential areas. The weather was warm with humidity. For the locals it was really hot, since they have been training in very cold weather! I had a compatible tent mate, Rebecca, and we walked day 2 and 3 together. Cindy hooked up with us and spent day 3 with us. There were 3500 walkers; we waked 63 miles (Barbara Jo's pedometer), took 130,000 steps and netted 5.25 million dollars~! I met so many wonderful people and heard such incredible stories. These people have touched my heart. Bob surprised me on Fri. night by flying in and finding me in the dining tent. I was shocked and delighted, so he spent the next 2 days putting up pink Team Teresa signs along the route and then he would find me before lunch and toward the end of the day and walk the last mile with me. During closing ceremonies, a lot of walkers took off their shoes and waved them in the air to the music. It was very spontaneous and dramatic. I didn't dare take off my shoes, and risk not being able to get them back on! Dave and Jeanne, Bridget's (the lady from S.D. who I haven't met, but whose family keeps meeting me around the country) cousins, found me at the end of closing ceremonies. I couldn't spend much time since it was getting late and we had a 7:30 flight to catch. Their meeting me was a 3-Day act of "kindness". Donna, my Chicago tent-mate who lives in Mich., also came to closing ceremonies to meet me. Another incredible act of "kindness". The flight home was fine, but I certainly had a hard time sitting still after walking for 3 days. My legs were just twitching for a couple of hours of that trip. The next surprise was Debra, Ronda and their friend Lisa, meeting us at midnight at the airport. So, after all of the excitement and thrill of the Mich. 3-Day, the most important thing was to be able to come home to family and friends. Thank you Mich. walkers, crew and volunteers for a fabulous experience.
CHICAGO
6320 walkers-----the biggest ever.  And they netted 11 million dollars.  That is a lot of money for the breast cancer cause on one event.  I don't want to bore you by saying the same thing after every walk, but this one was great!  I don't know if the walks get better and better, or the current walk becomes the best walk, or if I just meet more and more people at each walk, which makes it wonderful.  In any case, I am continuing to have the time of my life.  Bob went with me on this trip and on day zero we took a tour of the local famous spot--the Jelly Belly factory in Kenosha.  As we were getting into our car, after the tour, a group of women, also 3-dayers, were getting into their van.  They gave me a hug and told me they saw a message about me on the message board! I felt welcomed immediately and could feel the "3-Day kindness" at work already. Their tent site was directly across from mine in camp.  How was that possible with over 3000 tent sites?  My tent-mate, Donna, arrived later in the day. We spent 2 days walking together. Her story is also one of those 3-Day stories, since she called me because a friend of hers met me in Dallas, so we decided to tent together in Chicago. My big surprise was having my daughter Ronda, the bracelet maker, greet  me at camp as I walked in on Friday night.  I was shocked and delighted and spent the night with her at the hotel, since it was raining anyway.  She put up pink Team Teresa signs on Sat. and she and Bob put them up on Sun.  I hope people enjoyed the signs as much as I did.  What was your favorite?  We had some rain and some beautiful weather.  We walked many trails that were beautiful and I am certain that there was not even one tiny hill in 3 days!  The closing ceremonies were different in that there were so many walkers that we did not walk in as a group, but the ceremonies began as the very last walker reached the site on the shore of Lake Michigan.  It was very dramatic and worthy of much applause. The 3-Day staff never lets us down. They always have an alternative plan that seems to work.  I am trying to figure out how I can talk to every single walker--any suggestions?  360 miles to go!!
SAN FRANCISCO
Have I said this before?  This experience is getting better and better.  I don't know if it is the walk, the city, the people or me.  I suppose it is all of the above, because this experience is becoming more and more exhilarating.  The S.F. walk was, as always, a well organized event.  As a walker, I felt safe and taken care of at all times and though I didn't have any emergency, I felt that I would be taken care of it there was.  This really was a beautiful walk.  We walked through residential and the last day was next to the water and had a great view of the Golden Gate.  The weather was different from what was expected (what's new?).  Saturday night was the foggiest weather that I have ever seen and probably the windiest.  How many people does it take to put up a 2-person tent in the wind? I had at least 6 family members doing that job and it was hysterical.  The highlight of this walk for me was about the support I received from my family and Team Teresa members.  I walked with Janie (S.D. member) Gail and Debi (S.F. member), Michael (honorary member),  and Charlene (Pallotta staff).  Ronda, Chris, Debra, Bob, Lori, Dave, Nikki and Ashley represented my family from So and No. Calif. areas.  Ron Villa, Shaun, Kristen, and Krista from Team Teresa were also there.  It was so awesome.  They put up pink signs all along the route.  The signs are getting cuter and cuter with every walk and Bob is getting more sophisticated with his placement of each sign!!  Everyone walked with me for a little bit and visited at lunch or Sat. at dinner.  It seemed that for a few people, Team Teresa made a lot of noise!  Another interesting highlight for me was being part of the media group for the walk.  I was interviewed as we were waiting for closing ceremonies to begin by a TV station and the the 3-Day video cameraman interviewed me at a Pit stop. The San Jose Mercury did a big write up on the 3-Day in their Sun paper and my interview with them was included. A youth group of 17 year olds who were volunteering wanted to talk to me also.  It is fun to do this, but the important thing is to be able to impart information about 3-Day and breast cancer.  I have never done anything like this in my life!  I used to be petrified of public speaking.  Now I am only scared and nervous!  There were so many people that I had the privilege of talking to. Their stories and our conversations have touched me and I will carry them in my heart.   When I am in the 3-Day atmosphere  I just want to talk to every single person and know their story and make a connection with each of them.  I felt honored at closing ceremonies, because it seems that someone (staff) had arranged for me to walk in the front row directly in the middle for the walk from the holding area right up to the stage.  I actually was being directed by 2 other media participants the whole way as they guided  me all the way to the stage area--front and center!  There were also some beautiful signs all the along the closing route with my name. That was very cool!  The most important thing is that there were 4400 walkers and this walk netted 7 million dollars.  Very impressive!! Go San Francisco!! On to Colorado in 2 weeks

Just a p.s. to the journal:  I have raised $73,000 as of July 16th. My fundraising efforts for 2002 will continue through October 20th.  Thanks for all of your support. Together, we are making a difference.

*****Please look in the 'Newspaper Clippings' section for an article from the San Jose Mercury News*****
DENVER

I am sitting at the Denver Airport waiting for the flight home. 

It is the first time we are relaxed and not dashing for a plane. I am still looking for other blue 3-Day shirts to keep talking about the wonderful walk. 

The weather cooled down to the high 80’s after a heat wave, so we were lucky- though there was some rain on Saturday night. I now carry plastic sheeting and clothespins to cover the tent in case of rain! Our walk gave us a view of the Rocky Mountains and we walked on lots of trails. 

I spent two days in Denver at our friend Carol’s, to acclimate to the altitude. That did not present a problem, even on the hills-and there were a few of those! The highlight of this walk was the 2300 participants and talking to as many as I could and telling Teresa’s story. There was a television interview on Thursday that I was told aired on the 11:00 a.m. news.  The walk ended at the new Invesco Mile High Stadium. 

It is now 7:38 p.m. and my body looks forward to not walking for four days.

***********************************

Aug. 6, 2002 

So many amazing experiences have happened to me since I have begun this adventure, but I would like to share a recent one that brought me to tears. 

My mother-in-law, who lives in a senior residence, was passing around a print-out of this website.  She received a knock on her door and was handed this hand written note and a generous check by a 101 year old gentleman.

"Dear Florence,

I can understand how proud of your daughter in law you must be. My daughter, Marian, died at the age of sixty four on my 98th birthday of breast cancer.  She was a phd professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  Please send this check to your daughter in Marian's memory.  Thank you (signed) 8/3/02"

**********************************

SEATTLE
What a beautiful walk. This walk had close to perfect weather. The route the first day and the last day were especially good-the first day was very green and we could see Mt. Rainier and the last day we walked in to the city of Seattle with the fabulous skyline.

Bob and Chris supported the walk by putting up Team Teresa signs along the route. They had a lot of fun finding their way around the route.

I was invited to speak on Saturday night in the gym (dining hall). Even though I was very nervous, I had a good time doing it. It gave me a chance to not just tell my story, but to thank Bob publicly for all of his support.

As always, the people were great and I loved talking with them.

Thanks Seattle for GREAT walk!

 

*****Please look in the 'Newspaper Clippings' section for an article from the Los Angeles Times.

ATLANTA

Atlanta--Oct. 4-6,2002

I am writing the Atlanta journal on Monday, Oct. 7th (the morning after!). I couldn't even talk last night when the walk was over, let alone write in my journal! It wasn't the 83 degree temperatures in Atlanta, it was the 100 percent humidity, (I'm not whining, just stating the facts!) that wore me out. I was sweating (not glistening like the Southern women) from the time I arrived in Atlanta until I hit the hotel on Sunday night. This experience started several weeks ago when we were told that the 3-Day season would not be completed. Disappointment and withdrawal set in. Then the anticipation and hope for Pallotta and Avon to get things resolved; then the excitement of gearing up for the last 3 walks of the season. It has been a roller coaster of emotions for me and I suspect for a lot of other people involved in the 3-Day experiences. Anyway, on to the Atlanta story: On Day Zero, after registration Bob and I went out for lunch. I was chatting with some 3-Dayers and Bob was speaking with another couple who asked him about his "Team Teresa" tee shirt. They asked if they could make a donation and wrote a check for $50 to the 3-Day! Later that same day we were at a mall buying candy. I spent a few minutes telling the owners, a couple from India, about why I was in Atlanta and discussing breast cancer and trying to educate and heighten awareness. A few minutes later the woman came running after me in the mall and handed me $11 for "the cause", which was the amount that we had spent in her store! These experiences make me teary just writing about them, because it reminds me of the process and what I am doing and that his experiences has been about so much more than "just" walking. The facts about the Atlanta walk are that there were 2450 fabulous walkers that walked 66 Barbara Jo miles (Pallotta miles were less than 60) and netted 2 million dollars for breast cancer. The walk was very beautiful, and very green in many areas. There were also many hills (I didn't know Atlanta was hilly!). We walked around Stone Mountain and through lovely old residential areas into Atlanta. At the airport this morning (Monday) I met 4 wonderful women (3-Dayers). They were 3 friends walking honoring the 4th woman, Kim. What an inspiration! Another reminder of why I am doing this. This was a fabulous weekend and now I'm "fixin'" (my new Southern word) to walk New York, y'all!

 
*********Please look in the 'Newspaper Clippings' section for an update from the 3-Day Today newsletter.
NEW YORK
 

New York, New York!

This walk started out innocently enough. There were predictions of rain and it did exactly that. It rained through opening ceremonies at Rockland Lake and continued raining heavily all day. It was muddy and sloshy, but I continued walking, as did most of the people. At lunch it was so muddy that I couldn't sit down and never even remembered to do my usual lunchtime stretches. I did have on my water repellant jacket and pants, that I had bought in Boston (after getting caught in the snow). My feet and shoes were soaked, but that didn't bother me. According to my pedometer we walked 18 miles by the end of Day One. When I got into camp there was an announcement that the rest of the walk was cancelled because it was too dangerous for us to be on the roads and people were getting hypothermia and were dehydrated. I did have an opportunity to talk to some great people in the rain, at the hotel in the evening and at breakfast on Sat. morning. That interaction is certainly an important part of this. Not being able to complete the walking part of this event reminds me of all the parts of this process that have been important besides walking for 3 days. It is about raising money, exercising, talking to people about self-exams and mammograms. All of those things were going on long before the 3 days and can continue long after those 3 days. The facts about the New York walk are that there were 5400 walkers and the walk netted 9 million dollars. Way to go New York!

 

On to the L.A. walk this weekend--------the last walk of the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day. Let’s make it the best!

 

*****If you are considering taking a cruise, please check out Pink Ribbon Cruises
LOS ANGELES
L.A. Walk--Santa Barbara to Oxnard--Oct. 18-20, 2002

People have been asking me since April, "what has been your favorite walk?" I have felt that each walk was special and wonderful and exciting; however, I must admit that there is something to be said for being on your "own turf" and I now understand about "having the home-court advantage"! The L.A. Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day was really the grand finale of this 13 walk adventure in 2002.

Just to share a few of the highlights (in no particular order):

There were over 4600 walkers and the net proceeds were 6 million dollars.

Team Teresa had expanded to at least 30 walkers.

My daughters Debra and Ronda and daughter-in-law Deanna doing the walk with me.

My husband Bob, my son David and sons-in-law Chris and Ron supporting the event.

The weather was perfect walking weather.

2 days of the event were spectacular California scenery.

I was the top fundraiser for the L.A. Walk raising over $65000, making the total for the year over $89,000 and the total for 5 years of fundraising for the event over $209,000.

I completed my 13th walk for 2002 (and my 17th 3-Day event in 5 years).

Teresa and Ron's family supporting the event.

Being interviewed and written up in the local paper.

Being handed donations at dinner on Day Zero, on the walk by other walkers, and at dinner in a restaurant after the walk.

Having my son in law Ron write me a song and producing a CD for me and presenting it to me after the walk.

Walking in the center of the media walkers to lead everyone into closing ceremonies.

Speaking at closing ceremonies and introducing Kathleen Walas, Pres. of the Avon Foundation.

A friend of mine surprising me at closing ceremonies wearing a tall pink hat with my name and playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" on her trombone.

Meeting so many people and wanting to talk to every single person there.

Thank you to my family for all of their support since 2001 when I committed to taking on this challenge. Thank you to my friends who have supported me both emotionally and financially. Thank you to my sponsors for their generosity. Thank you to the staff at Pallotta TeamWorks for always being willing to find the answers to my questions. Thank you to the traveling staff of Pallotta TeamWorks (Shucks crew) for all of their nurturing en route. Thank you to the Avon staff that I have connected with along the way. Thank you to all of those incredible walkers from around the country that have taken their time to talk to me, take pictures with me, e mail me and share their stories, it has truly been an honor and a privilege "to share the road" with you. My goal is to continue walking and fundraising for breast cancer in 2003 and I hope that our paths will cross again.

Thank you for taking the time to read my journal.

With appreciation,

Barbara Jo Kirshbaum

Keep on walkin'

 

*****My son in law Ron wrote a song for me and here are the lyrics.

Walking on Clouds

 

Written, recorded and produced by: Ron Johnson

@ Virtual Recordings Studio, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

E-mail: Virtualrecording@aol.com

Guitar, vocals & lyrics by: Ron Johnson

(Special Thanks to Doris for her beautiful vocals)

 

Dedicated to Barbara Jo Kirshbaum

You’re an inspiration for all to see

You’re the inspiration for me

Walking on the clouds for a cause

Could it be close to me

The strength you carry for all of us

The strength you carry for me

Walking on the clouds for a cause

Could it be close to me

Hoping someday to find a cure

Walking hand in hand with you

And me for all to see

Sometimes words aren’t enough

You’ve shown the world how you feel

I’ll tell you that I care for you… you care for me…You care for me

I’ll tell you that I care for you… you care for me…You care for me

© rj2002

 

*****Please look in the 'Newspaper Clippings' section for an article from the Los Angeles Times.
*****Please look in the 'Newspaper Clippings' section for an article from the Ventura County Star.
Dear Sponsors,

I have just completed my 13th walk of the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day for 2002. This is "the morning after" and I am still very emotional, but I know it is the best time for me to write to you. First of all, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support this last year, both financially and emotionally. I could not have done this without all of you behind me. What started out as one woman wanting to push her own limits by walking and fundraising for breast cancer became so much more.

I don’t even know what to share with you first. I am a jumble of thoughts, memories and feelings at this moment, but I want to give you some sense of this experience.

I have:

--- walked 13 cities since April 12, 2002

 

--- traveled (mostly flown) 40,000 miles

 

--- been accompanied by Bob and he has put up 660 pink signs in 11 cities to support the

     walkers

 

--- completed 17 Avon 3-Day walks in 5 years (I think I am the only one in the country to have

     done that)

 

--- raised $67,000 for the L.A. walk (the largest fund raiser for the L.A. walk in 2002)

 

--- raised $90,000 for all 13 walks (probably the largest fund raiser in the country in 2002)

 

--- raised $210,000 in 5 years for the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day (probably the largest amount

     in the country)

 

--- "shared the road" with about 50,000 other walkers

 

--- walked 757 official miles according to my pedometer

 

--- taken 1,600,402 steps in walking those official miles

 

--- been part of an experience that has netted about 70 million dollars to the Avon Foundation

     for education, research and access

     to care for breast cancer

 

--- sold 100’s of breast cancer awareness crystal bracelets, made by my daughter Ronda

 

--- acquired a dresser filled with 3-Day t shirts from every city

 

--- drank gallons of gatorade

 

--- used 30 instant cameras

 

--- wore out 5 pairs of shoes, and used many packages of moleskin to wrap my toes

 

--- filled up two journals with my experiences

 

--- had my daughter Lori and her family attend the S.F. walk, along with all of my other children

     being there to cheer me on

 

--- shared the story of Teresa and Team Teresa innumerable times around the country

 

--- a website (bjkcounselor.com) created by my son in law, Chris

 

--- had a song written and produced on a CD for me by my son in law, Ron

 

--- been part of Team Teresa that became a 30 walker team including my daughters Debra,

     Ronda and my daughter in law Deanna, and Teresa's husband Ron, with support from my

     son David, sons in law Ron and Chris and about 15 family members of Teresa and Ron.

 

--- experienced almost every kind of weather since April: heat, cold, rain, snow (Boston in

     May), fog, humidity, and perfect

     walking weather in L.A. for the last walk!

 

--- wore a white baseball hat with over 40 different breast cancer pins on it

 

--- been greeted in every hotel room that I have stayed in with signs of welcome from my

     family that were faxed ahead

 

--- slept in a tent 35 nights

 

--- ate the same meals for 13 week ends

 

--- had a scrapbook made by my daughter Debra of my 13 walks

 

--- had an opportunity to speak and listen to so many wonderful people with a common

     mission to fight breast cancer. That was certainly one of the most important

     parts of this experience.

To every member of my family, I thank you again for your incredible support. To my supporters, I again thank you for your generosity. I proudly carried every one of you with me via your name on a ribbon on a banner that I wore on my back. There were over 350 of you and over 100 names of people you asked me to walk in honor of. Every one of you was part of an experience that WILL make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

Please remind every woman in your life about breast self examination and mammograms and men, please do not forget to be checked also.

With appreciation,

 

Barbara Jo Kirshbaum

Keep on Walkin’