Once you’ve experienced the Avon Walk, it’s part of your life forever. A special memory. A reminder that hope and commitment truly can change the world. This is why so many Avon Walkers and Volunteers come back year after year. The energy is contagious. The sense of optimism and joy is totally invigorating. And the opportunity to change more lives? Simply irresistible.
With a little experience, fundraising becomes surprisingly easy. Repeat Avon Walk participants raise an average of $2,700 each–compared with new participants, who raise an average of $2,400 per person. In becoming one of our alumni, you’ll gain the power (and fundraising dollars) to make even make an even bigger difference in the fight to end breast cancer.
Years participated: 2012, and registered for three Avon Walks in 2013
Total Funds Raised: $9,464
Before taking my first steps at the New York Avon Walk in 2012, most of my friends and family did not know I was a breast cancer survivor. In 2009, when I was 42 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was in shock. Could this heartbreaking disease really affect someone so young? I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, so for three years I kept it a secret, only telling those closest to me.
When I signed up for the Avon Walk, I was still hiding my secret. While fundraising, I told donors I was walking in memory of my grandmother, a survivor of both breast cancer and Auschwitz. It wasn’t until I was at the Walk, surrounded by thousands of empowering women and men of all ages wearing “survivor” caps, laughing and smiling, that I finally was able to find the strength within to share my story of survival.
Following the Walk, I came out of hiding and signed up to participate in three 2013 Avon Walks: Houston, Santa Barbara, and New York. I decided to use my fundraising efforts as a way to spread awareness, especially to young women.
When I need inspiration, I think of my grandmother, which gives me strength to stand up to anything. I will forever be indebted to the Avon Foundation for Women and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, as they have both changed my life for the better and I am now proud to say it out loud: "I am a breast cancer survivor."
Years participated: 2011 and 2012, and registered for 2013
Total Funds Raised: $25,000
Although I am only 12, I’ve been impacted by breast cancer several times in my life. The impact it has had on me is the No. 1 reason why, for the past three years, I’ve lent my time to volunteer on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Youth Crew. In 2011, I had the honor of speaking at the Opening Ceremony in San Francisco!
When my mom was pregnant with me in 2000, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and then had to do it all over again in 2010 when she received a second diagnosis. My grandmother and great aunt have also been affected by the disease. While breast cancer may run in my family, so does fighting it and beating it, because they are all survivors!
During each walk, the Youth Crew does many things like set up the Wellness Village, keep Walkers hydrated and most importantly, cheer them on during their long journey! I know how much Walkers appreciate our efforts. When I’m out along the walk route and I see a Walker’s face light up as I cheer him or her on, or hand them a cup of water, it confirms why I do what I do. It gives me joy and brings a smile to my face to celebrate those who walk and help others to survive.
My good friend and I have decided that we will serve as members of the youth crew in Boston and San Francisco, switching between the two Walks, in hopes of raising funds for both cities.
I hold this cause very close to my heart. I’ve been able to raise over $25,000 in three short years. I hope to raise a lot more for the cause to help one day find a cure for this horrible disease.
Team Captain: Seneca Sisters
Years participated: All 10 (2003-12), and registered for 2013
Total Funds Raised: $346,000
Twenty-five years ago, at age 32, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. When I felt the lump my heart sunk. I knew that I was in for the fight of my life—especially when I was given a 50/50 chance to be alive in five years.
The world was different in 1986. There were no walks, no pink ribbons, and it was rare to meet survivors. Once I knew in my heart that I was a survivor, I realized I’d been given a precious gift to share with men and women who are touched by this horrible disease. I'll continue to fight for the lives of people battling breast cancer, and to pass on the precious gift of life I’ve been so lucky to receive.
Since I began walking, I’ve raised more than $300,000. One of the reasons I come back specifically to the Avon Walk is because the money we work so hard to raise is used not only for research – but also to provide direct support, education and early detection services to those who can’t afford to get it themselves.
Team Captain: Team BellaDonna
Years participated: 9 (2004-12), and registered for 2013
Total Funds Raised: $45,855
The Avon Walk is part of the fabric of my family, a tradition woven by three generations passionately committed to ending the disease that nearly took my life.
This May, I will be walking in my 9th Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I will walk alongside my mom, Bobbi Bramante, who founded "Team BellaDonna"” over a decade ago to fight back following my first battle with breast cancer.
I took part in my first Boston walk event in 2003, just a few weeks after completing a year of treatments for Stage 3 breast cancer. Each step helped me heal. My mom inspired me, and I passed the torch to my children, who have been involved with the Avon Walk since they were very small. My son Vallen earned a spot on the Avon Walk Youth Crew in 2010, an extraordinary experience that developed his confidence, brought new friendships, and imparted valuable humanitarian lessons. At 16, he has elected to walk with "Team BellaDonna 2012", excited to share a weekend adventure with the team, his mom, and his beloved "Nonni". The story keeps getting better. My daughter Victoria, now 10, has counted the years until she, too, could be old enough to serve like her big brother, donning the Youth Crew “yellow hoodie”, and learning the walker cheers.
My family and our team are committed to raising funds for the Avon Foundation because we know they distribute the money intelligently - for life saving care, clearer understandings of potential causes, and responsible cancer research. We hope that our combined feet and hearts can save others like our survivor teammates and me. The inspiration and purpose, the sense of accomplishment, and the walk camaraderie keep us coming back year after year. Ten years, twenty teammates, and $280,000 later, our march remains tremendously purposeful. We’re truly in it to end it, and proud to be Avon Walk alumni.