March 26, 2008

Maggie Walks

This next guest post was written by Maggie, who hosts the blog Maggie Walks, where you can go for more breast cancer walk inspiration!

I have wanted to participate in the Breast Cancer 3-Day (benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure) ever since I first heard about it a few years ago. I don't know exactly why walking 60 miles in three days appeals to me... Actually, anything in the name of breast cancer awareness always catches my eye. Not only do I love that pink ribbon, my family has witnessed one of our own battling breast cancer.

Nancy is my mother's sister, and she's always made an effort to be close to my family despite the 3,000-mile distance between us. We're both the youngest of three siblings, so I felt I had more of a right to her than either of my sisters when we were growing up. Certain birthdays meant extra-special gifts for us: for example, a week's vacation visiting her when we each turned 13. She even spent a year learning how to bake and decorate cakes, so that she could make a beautiful one for my wedding.

The 3,000 miles separating us felt like about double that when she was being treated for breast cancer. We were extraordinarily lucky—not only is Nancy a proud survivor, she has been for almost six years! Health facts, like the benefits of antioxidants, come up in conversation more often than in years past but otherwise she's still who she's always been: family. Just with battle scars.

To be perfectly honest, it's a little scary having this disease as part of my family's medical history. I've really hit the genetic jackpot: heart disease, diabetes and now breast cancer. At age 27, I'm just starting to take an active interest in taking care of myself. My sisters have set the bar high—they have worked out regularly for years, eat organic food, and truly respect their bodies and their physical (as well as mental) health.

Well, I'm on my way. I've been a member of Curves for a year now, and am about to hit the 100-workout milestone! I've also logged 36.5 miles in pre-training to prepare myself for the rapidly approaching 24-week Training Program for the 3-Day—mostly on the treadmill, but also outside in Michigan's temperamental winter. I am eating more healthily now than I ever have in my adult life. I work on portion control, eating more of the right foods, and drinking lots of water. It's interesting how much I've learned about my body in the process. I'm much more aware of how food and exercise (or lack thereof!) affect how I feel throughout the day.

I'm going to walk in the 3-Day because I want to contribute something—the money I raise will go to breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. But that's not the only reason I signed up. I'm walking for my Aunt Nancy, to honor her achievement of remaining cancer-free for almost six years. I'm walking for my mom, Linda, who has been participating in The Sister Study, a long-term national study to learn how environment and genes affect the chances of getting breast cancer. I'm walking for my sisters, Mollie and Annie, who also have to include breast cancer in their family medical history. I'm walking for me, so I can get in shape and take better care of myself. And I'm walking for you, because everyone deserves a lifetime.

Sixty miles over three days. Needless to say, I'm scared out of my mind.


  1. Maggie,

    When is this walk going to take place? Did I miss that? I want to thank you for writing this post.

    The Big C always used to be the disease that no one wanted to mention by name. (Now I guess AIDS has taken that place.) It's tempting to put your head in the sand, metaphorically speaking, and pretend it's not there. While comforting in the short term, it's a much better approach to face things head on, like you're doing.

  2. I hope that comment made some semblance of sense. I'm so short of sleep right now that I'm having trouble coherent sentences creating.

  3. Hi Merry! I'm walking September 26-28. Here is a link to the schedule of walks in 2008 for anyone who's interested:

  4. Go Maggie, you can do it!

    I'm going to check out the link and see when it is coming to my area. :)

  5. Thank you, Maggie! Maybe we can get more people involved in this walk. Maybe even a certain slug who is typing this comment... or maybe we could involve Crabby. That's a thought :)

  6. I'm Maggie's Aunt Nancy and I can't tell you how proud I am of what she's doing. (A predisposition to being a couch potato is something else we have in common.)

    I'm also very grateful. Treatment made possible by breast cancer research surely saved my life and -- with help from people like Maggie and those who support her -- I have faith breast cancer will soon cease to be a life-threatening disease.

    I don't think Maggie told you how you can (financially) support her in reaching her goal. Her Komen fund raising page is at

    Any donation can help push her over the top and add to the arsenal against breast cancer.

  7. I'm Maggie's sister Mollie and I would like to say that it's wonderful to see my little sister learn to take such good care of herself AND work towards such a worthy cause. Just so you know, I never intended to set a bar (or a high bar at that) in the whole fitness/healthy eating arena. I simply followed my interests and passions. Some of it could also be termed "flight into health" due to my fear of the aforementioned genetic minefield that my sisters and I share. However, I'm truly excited that now I can relate on having healthy interests with BOTH my sisters.

  8. Excellent! Thank you, Maggie's aunt N and sister M! It's important to put a personal aspect on a looming threat such as breast cancer. Plus, I think people would like to know how they can help. I think almost everyone out there a)knows someone who has suffered from this disease b) knows someone who is high-risk for getting this disease, or c) is a high-risk candidate themselves for getting breast cancer.

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  10. Dang blogger... I know I don't stutter; I don't see why it should repeat what I say twice. I don't repeat myself, do I? Well, do I?

  11. go maggie!

    Ive had a number of friends do this over the years.

    I plan to do it next year and HOPE to walk it with my daughter some day.


  12. I am doing the two day Avon walk in D.C. the first weekend in May so will be thinking of you!


  13. Go, Maggie, go!
    The Bag Lady also has a genetic risk for 2 types of cancer, now that her sister is a breast cancer survivor.
    Cancer CAN be beaten!

  14. Way to go Maggie!

    I did the 3 Day in 2000 and I am currently training for the 2 Day this June.

  15. Maggie, good for you! Both for taking charge of your health and for doing the walk! As a BC survivor myself, thank you. (Bag Lady's sister for those that don't already know us)

  16. Go, Go GO! You can do every step of the me - I am on my 7th event. You are in for the journey of a lifetime.


  17. Thank you all for the encouragement and kind words. You are the best!

  18. Thank YOU Maggie, both for the interesting post and for doing and publicizing the walk!


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