OK so now that I have your attention ~ who's to say it won't be the $1800 Maureen's "Clan Russell" team will raise in this year's Avon Walk Boston, or who's to say it won't be the legions of Alex's Lemonade Stands or the Yellow Army of Livestrong Challengers, or Komen in pink, or the millions of Relay for Life(rs) in purple...or YOU! Somebody's fundraising dollar is going to be the one dollar that gets us over the hump!
The point is if you have a story to tell (and you do) please tell it ~ honor your loved one and use their story to motivate yourself and then leverage it to engage, motivate inspire others to give or act or both. We're not going to cure anything unless we first cure apathy. Maureen Russell has apathy in a headlock and she is well on her way to charity walk infamy - her resume in part Avon Walk - Boston '08, '09 Medical Crew - New York '09 Medical Volunteer: Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk & ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - Boston ‘08
So what motivates Maureen, what's her story?...Shirley. In Maureen's words...
We are "The Clan Russell." In the tradition of Appalachian Trail hikers, our name was given
to us - by a volunteer at the Avon Walk - Boston ‘08. I walked. My husband, Mark, and son, Ian, crewed – hauling tent and gear. It made a lot of sense for us as a family. My sister is a breast cancer survivor – as is my mother. My aunt was not as lucky; she died several years ago from breast cancer. When I signed up to walk Boston ’08, our sister-in-law, Shirley, was battling the disease.
A long story - made short. I became committed to becoming healthy two years ago. Since that time I have done things that I had never thought possible. Into my early 50’s, one word described my exercise program: “non-existent.” I could barely see my toes, let alone bend over and touch them. A good diet, and a personal trainer program helped get me into shape. In the spring of ’08, I began to look for new challenge – and found The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
There is simply nothing else like it. After closing ceremonies we were hooked. The experience was so powerful for us that we registered immediately for ’09. This year there will be four of us in Boston, as our daughter, Annie, also joins the crew. I’ll be walking in Boston, and joining the Medical Crew as a nurse in New York in October. We had hoped to walk and crew in Shirley’s honor this year, but must now do so in her memory. We lost Shirley to breast cancer last summer. A black belt karate instructor – she taught us all what it means to “Fight like a girl!” She didn’t deny her cancer – she defied it. We miss her terribly. The pins we’ve ordered from Buttons of Hope are meant to show everyone why we’re here – so that one day our daughters may wear pink ribbons in their hair… not on their shirts.
Thank you Maureen for sharing your story you are inspiring others and honoring your sister Shirley. If you'd like to support Maureen's team click here and/or if you'd like to put a dent in that apathy ...well I've got a just the medicine!