Q: There arc many events out there, and other ways to help in the fight against breast cancer. Why The Breast Cancer 3-Day benefiting Susan G. Komen For The Cure?
A: I needed more of a challenge than other events. At one point, during the very first time 1 walked, 1 thought, "Can 1 really do this? 60 miles is a lot. " 1 can talk about it, but doing it is another thing. If I am asking for such a large amount of money there needs to be a balance. Donors need to be insured that I am doing the work, and living the experience. I also feel as if it is a way to feel closer to my mom, and her battle with the disease.
Q: The Breast Cancer 3-Day is not for everyone. It is unlike other events in that, for many, it is a life-changing journey that starts months in advance with training and fundraising. For most participants 60 miles is a big enough goal. Why all 12 events equaling 720 miles?
A: I wanted to do something drastic. If I walked half of the events there was not enough wow factor to get $1 million. I want to do something so extravagant to gain Q: attention to the disease, and raise the million at the same time. 720 miles is one huge battle that will hopefully accomplish getting that much money.
Q: Most 17 year oIds are thinking about prom, boyfriends and other subjects much different than breast cancer advocacy. What makes you different than other 17 year olds!
A: I do think about those things, but this campaign is priority number one. My different education path with extended studies has helped me think like this. Learning from good, strong examples like my parents has made me this way. My horses and riding taught me how to be a leader. as well as how to accept failure along with winning.
Q: In media associated with The Breast Cancer 3-Day, you hear the question, "what kind of world do you want (from the Five For Fighting song)? What kind of world do YOU want?
A: Definitely a world without breast cancer. I do not want to see any other kids, mothers, aunts, and sisters - women in general affected anymore. There IS a cure out there. I want to speak to the next generation. These are the people I want to reach the most - the youth that need extra awareness.
Q: There IS a cure out there. What kind of world do you want in the near future - until a cure is found?
A: The best treatment for patients that could ever be given. Chemo that is not cold going in the body, or does not cause hair loss. I know hair loss is an issue of vanity, but for some women it labels them as a victim. I want to see a branching out to the underserved - clinics, perhaps more doctors who treat patients pro bono. Everyone needs treatment as citizens, as humans.
Q: In order to participate, walkers are required to raise a minimum $2200. In order to walk all 12, the minimum requirement is $26,400. You have set your goal at $1 million! How do you plan to get there?
A: The start is going to be grueling. In the end the high dollars will come naturally. After I've proven myself people with have inspiration to donate. I don't think it is going to be as hard as I think. It's going to be natural once I start walking.
Q: What is your training schedule like? How are you getting ready physically?
A: On average I do 12 hours of cardio per week. I am starting to do three sessions of ninety minutes of cardio a day. Basically it will simulate two back-to-back days of walking. My trainer, Loren and I are going to ramp up to the highest and toughest physical level right up until May. I will then back down. In doing this it will simulate the event and all 720 miles. Basically, before the event I will have done three series of 720 miles. I've already achieved one and a half
Q: A commitment like this is bound to affect you mentally and emotionally. What is the driving force that helps you stay on track in that respect?
A: I have a picture of my mom at 100 pounds without her hair. She doesn't look like a person - she looks like a ghost. If someone can look like that, and look like the beautiful woman that she is - I CAN FIGHT When it gets tough in the gym, I am fighting or all the women who don't want to die. There is a weight that I feel, but I have support teams. It's about choices. I have chosen this, and breast cancer patients do not have that choice. My mom had breast cancer twice in one short life. I can also turn to any other participant for inspiration. They are all scratching at the walls to get to 60 miles - just like me.
Q: How old were you when your mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer'! What do you remember about how you felt and how your world changed!
A: I was 2 ½. I can remember glimpses. I always remember dad staying home a lot when he was normally working. My brother (Nick) was 7, and I noticed a big change in the way he acted
Q: Your mom's cancer came back a second time. Can you put into words what this did to you and your family?
A: I was 9 when my mom's cancer came back. It tore me apart. We shared a passion for horses and had a daily ritual of going to the barn everyday after school. She couldn't go to the barn, or if she did go she had to sit in the car. We had a relationship where we shared that interest. I was crushed because that bond disappeared My mom developed a big infection and we couldn't be around her for nearly a year and a half The surgeries got tougher. My dad lost his job and we were faced with the question of "what are we going to do?" My brother was completely crushed Nick was a pre-teen and he didn't have the support a typical kid his age felt they needed Suddenly we moved - we had to, plus there were better doctors. My whole life was changed I was acclimating to everything new in my life, and the cancer again. It was a bad time. Mom always maintained the full fighter attitude. She could have personally felt it was too much.
Q: What one word would you use to describe your mom? What about a word that describes you?
A: Determined. Throughout her life that is all have known. Determined and passionate about everything she does. Anyone that has survived cancer is determined. It is up to the people who read about me, meet me -for those who believe in me and in my campaign to decide what word best describes me.
Q: If a supporter would says to you, "I only have a moment - quick tell me the most important thing 1 need to know about what you are doing?" What would that be?
A: I am walking 720 miles across the country and raising $1 million. I can't do it without you. Let's work together to cure breast cancer . Millions of people deserve a voice. They need to be comfortable with letting their voices be known. Getting more activists is my biggest goal. I only wish that my mom never had to go through what she did.