Avon 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer


Every two minutes a woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer. The Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer is a two day walk on October 14th and 15th consisting of 39 miles, 26 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday, that raises funds to reduce the occurrence of breast cancer. My better half and I are walking the marathon portion and raising funds in support of Avon 39.  I’ll be blogging along the way about training and how the day of the event goes!

You can make a donation on my Avon 39 webpage by clicking the “Donate Now” button to the right. If you prefer to write a check, click the “Donate By Mail” button and follow the instructions on the form.

My goal is to raise at least $1,800.

Give it to me straight, what exactly does my donation do?

  • $5,000 provides crucial lab equipment to support scientific research to learn how to prevent breast cancer
  • $2,500 links a low-income individual with vital breast health screening and diagnostic care via an Avon Patient Navigator
  • $1,800 supports my full fundraising commitment to participate in AVON 39 and helps a high-risk patient access genetic counseling and referral
  • $1,000 provides legal support to a metastatic breast cancer patient as they take steps to ensure security for their children
  • $750 supports a nurse-led support group for breast cancer patients as they undergo treatment and care
  • $500 provides training to a mammography technician to ensure the highest quality, most accurate scan
  • $250 connects a medically underserved patient to a screening mammogram
  • $125 allows a young breast cancer survivor to connect with other survivors and learn crucial information about their health, fertility and prevention of recurrence
  • $100 ensures that a low-income breast cancer patient has childcare during chemotherapy
  • $50 offsets the cost of a patient’s transportation to-and-from oncology appointments

I’m walking and fund raising in memory of my neighbor, Julie Willis.  I grew up next door to Julie. Julie passed away in April 2013 after a hard fought battle with breast cancer. Julie lit up the room with her smile and was the kindest soul you’d ever meet- she was an angel walking among us.

Julie had a spirit strong as steel behind her sunny smile. Rocking a pink wig, Julie came out to support the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run in Huntsville, Alabama which raised funds for breast cancer awareness and prevention.  Now I’m raising funds in her memory.

So many sisters, mothers, spouses, and friends have been lost.  AVON 39 is a force of change that can’t be stopped. Your donations will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. The dollars you pledge will put food on the table of a breast cancer patient and her family. They will enable access to mammograms and medicine, fuel research, and save lives. By making a donation, you’re part of it.

That’s all great, but I donate to other causes in support of breast cancer treatment/research. Why should I donate in support of Avon 39?

I’ll tell you why. I have been accused of having horrible musical taste. I do not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with either Nickelback or Toby Keith. For a donation of $25 I’ll buy the song of your choice and add it to my playlist on marathon day. If we both have great taste and I already have the song you can pick another one. I will buy WHATEVER song you ask, so long as it’s available on iTunes. It could something awesome like some Eye of the Tiger to pump me up or something really lame like the Best of Barney (yeah- that purple dinosaur remember him?) Or it could be a song that means a lot to you. If would be great if you could share the reason for the song choice, but if you don’t want to that’s cool too.

Current playlist, selected by donors.

Number of songs and total donations match a bit off because two donations went to my better half’s fundraising page instead of mine. I won’t say no to listening to new music though, so I accepted!

  • Neil Diamond: Any four songs of my choice, so long as they’re by Neil Diamond. Chosen by my cousin in tribute to her mom, my aunt, who is a breast cancer survivor.
  • Neil Diamond: Another Neil Diamond lover selected Porcupine Pie.
  • Marin Morris: My Church
  • Uncle Kracker: Smile. Chosen by my cousin in memory of her son Drew. Drew loved this song and remembering his big grin makes me smile!
  • Janis Joplin: Piece of My Heart. Chosen by my mom in memory of my dad. Dad loved Janis!
  • Tupac: Any song, so long as it’s Tupac. This will be a little tricky since I already have 2Pac: Greatest Hits, but I appreciate all songs by Pac in memory of my brother, even those not considered his greatest hits. Chosen by my mom in memory of my brother.
  • John Lennon: Imagine. Chosen by my mom, one of her favorite songs.
  • Little Big Town: Girl Crush. Chosen by my mom, this was the last song her and my dad listened to together. They went to Nashville and saw Little Big Town perform.
  • Yanni Live at The Acropolis: Song of my choice so long as it is from this album. Chosen by a coworker who said Yanni makes her feel like she’s flying and she wants me to fly across the finish line!
  • Queen: We Will Rock You and Bohemian Rhapsody. Numbers 10-17 chosen by a mathematical formula!  These are the top most addictive songs according to this formula: Receptiveness + (predictability-surprise) + (melodic potency) + (rhythmic repetition x1.5) = earworm.
  • Pharrell Williams: Happy
  • The Proclaimers: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) I have actually been singing this one to Kevin on our walks and intended to buy it before it was donated. Kevin calls it “spoken song” because I can’t sing so I speak the lyrics with emphasis. I do a really great spoken version of Love Shack as well.
  • The Village People: YMCA
  • Europe:The Final Countdown
  • Bon Jovi: Livin’ on a Prayer
  • James Pierpoint: Jinglebells
  • Baha Men: Who Let The Dogs Out?
  • Wild Card: Donor said I could pick any two songs I wanted
  • Wild Card: Donor said her taste in music is even more awful than mine and to pick any 20 songs I wanted.
  • Metallica: Enter Sandman and One.  Chosen by a fellow distance runner who knew I needed to rock out.
  • Miley Cyrus: Malibu. I like Miley and I’d never heard this song before. Love it! Chosen by a donor who said it’s an all around soothing song that brings her comfort and that she figures I will need some comfort during the walk lol. She is right.
  • Prince: Kiss
  • AC/DC: Thunderstruck. Chosen by a donor who said it’s the best pump up song to get me across that finish line.
  • Brook Benton: The Boll Weevil song. Chosen by a donor who grew up on a farm. For a few days this was the most unique song. Then came some of the ones below.
  • Mandisa: Overcomer.  Chosen by a donor who said it gives her hope, encouragement, and a spring in her step and she hopes it will for me too. Love it!
  • Thomas Sanders: The Internet is Down. Chosen by a donor because our reliance on the internet and being connected is
    growing ever strong and we need to remind ourselves to disconnect sometimes. Plus it’s a musical!
  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: PONPONPON. Chosen by a donor because it’s an ear worm that has hidden meanings within the music video itself (for example: there’s a reference to the Japanese TV network going from analog to digital in it).
  • Paramore : Ain’t It Fun. Chosen by a donor because Paramore is a great example of growing as a group and evolving in music, which is something we should also do ourselves.
  • Verka Serduchka: Dancing Lasha Tumbai. A Eurovision contest entry, chosen by a donor because some of the words within the song are actually made up. They sound similar enough to real words that people got offended. A nice reminder that even with some fake words you can finish 2nd out of 24 countries.
  • SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now!) A Bad Lip Reading of the Empire Strikes Back. This is probably my favorite song so far. Chosen by a coworker’s daughter who was adamant that I add this to my playlist.
  • Sister Sledge: We Are Family- because my family of friends and rockin’ tunes will get me through the walk, love this song choice!
  • Muse: Knights of Cydonia- because while it’s goofy it’s a good running song! P.S from Michelle. Nothing is goofier than SEAGULLS.
  • Did you know there is a 3 hour, 1 minute, and 36 second song? Neither did I! It’s called In The Garden by Pipe Choir (PC III) and it holds the Guinness Book of Records record for longest song. Thankfully, the donor took pity on me and said I could go with a song by Lonesome River Band instead. The donor likes bluegrass music enough that he owns a banjo and regularly strums out some bluegrass himself.
  •  Justin Timberlake featuring Nelly Furtado and Timbaland: Give It to Me, because it’s a good work out song!
  • Justin Timberlake for Dreamworks animation Trolls: I Have this Feeling, because it’s a happy song like Pharrell’s Happy, which was already taken!
  • David Byrne: Ain’t Gonna Work Here No More- Donor listened to the entire album during his rehab from bypass surgery 11 years ago
  • Neil Diamond: Coming to America, lots of Neil Diamond fans…
  • Dire Straights: Walk of Life
  • Neil Diamond: Any song, so long as it’s Neil Diamond…really? This many people like Neil Diamond?
  • Foo Fighters: Best of You
  • Dwight Yoakam: Thousand Miles from Nowhere, Bangles: Walk Like an Egyptian, Run DMC: Walk This Way, Katrina and the Waves: Walking on Sunshine- all chosen because they’re on the donor’s personal playlist and they’re walking themed!
  • 10 songs that are unknown at this point, the donor is still deciding
  • 1 song that is unknown at this point the donor is still deciding

I’ve been listening to the songs while I train and feel you guys are walking with me when I listen to your song(s), I’ll think of each of you when I listen to your song(s) on walk day!

You can make a donation on my Avon 39 webpage by clicking the “Donate Now” button to the right. If you prefer to write a check, click the “Donate By Mail” button and follow the instructions on the form.