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Training for the 3-Day

Max's Avon 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk Story

Letter to potential sponsors, sent throughout March, 2002:

I'm writing today to share my excitement with you about an incredible journey. A journey of transformation, really. It began for me last year, at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, MD. I was asked to play a benefit concert with one of my frequent musical partners, Suede. The concert was for walkers participating in The Avon 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk from Frederick, MD to Washington, DC. I didn't really know anything about the event when I arrived, but what I experienced there made a profound and lasting impression. There were 3,000 walkers, men & women, of all ages, colors, shapes and sizes. They had just completed their first day of walking - over twenty miles, in high humidity, and temperatures around 100 degrees! Everyone appeared exhausted, sunburned, and yet a focused spirit radiated through their sweat. What united them and propelled them forward was their determination to fight breast cancer. Some of the walkers were breast cancer survivors. Others walked in memory of loved ones that had lost the fight. It was an incredibly powerful setting. I thought about how courageous my grandmother was, having braved breast cancer 30 years ago, when the standard procedure was radical mastectomy. I though of my mother, herself a three year survivor. I thought of my friends and colleagues that had been afflicted with breast cancer. I was moved, listening to the personal stories of how may lives had been affected by this terrible disease. I was moved by the courage of the walkers - ordinary people, doing extraordinary things. I was humbled, and before I realized it, I was in tears. During our musical performance, I felt very privileged to be in that energetic space, contributing in a small way to the journey of these amazing people. Memory of the experience remains fresh in my mind, and it has motivated me to join the movement this year.

I have made the commitment to participate in the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. A sixty mile (yes, 60!), three day walk that begins May 3, 2002. On that morning, I will step off from Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and walk twenty miles per day for 3 days, until reaching Washington, D.C. on May 5th.

Did you know these facts from The American Cancer Society?

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in all women, and the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
  • One million women in America are living with undetected breast cancer.This year in the USA, a new case of breast cancer will be diagnosed every 3 minutes.
  • Every 13 minutes, the disease will claim another life.
  • Over 70% of breast cancer cases occur in women with no identifiable risk factors.
  • Men, while not as likely to develop the disease, are also at risk.
  • This year, 1,500 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 400 will die.
  • The five-year survival rate for patients treated for early-stage breast cancer is 96%.
  • Over two million breast cancer survivors are alive today.

Think about your family - think about your loved ones - think about your friends. How has breast cancer affected your world?

After retiring from the Navy two years ago, I essentially stopped exercising. I thought I was "making a statement." I realize that my "statement" didn't really say anything! So, I've changed my statement, and have a lot of catching up to do! I am rising to the challenge, and doing my part. I've been training very hard since January, by walking almost every day. Currently I am walking about 40 miles per week, and will continue adding mileage over the next few weeks. While I benefit personally from the exercise, the thrust of my involvement is to raise money to fight breast cancer. In addition to completing the 60-mile walk, I have committed to raise at least $1,900 before April 5th. The net proceeds from the walk will support non-profit breast health programs in every region of the country, and cutting edge medical research at leading academic institutions.

This is where you come in. I desperately need your help. Please help me exceed that goal by sponsoring my walk, and donating generously with a tax-deductible contribution. There are 3 ways to make a donation, the easiest way is to donate online! Visit www.BeThePeople.com . It's a great site, filled with information about the event. From the home page, click on "make an online donation". Then click "select an event", choose, Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day-DC, enter my walker number - 7037 - and contribute. It's that easy! Or call toll free, 1-800-825-1000, and mention my walker number - 7037. If you prefer to donate by check, you and download a form from the web site - or I will gladly mail you a pledge form. Thank you so much for your consideration, and for helping me meet this challenge, and supporting breast cancer research! Peace, Max Murray max@maxbass.com