Nancy Partridge at the 39-mile mark of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in 2013 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The ‘Every Three Minutes’ ribbon she is wearing represents the statistic that every three minutes, there is a new diagnosis of invasive breast cancer in the United States. Courtesy photo
When Chamber of Commerce Manager Nancy Partridge is not at work, chances are, you’ll see her walking around North Mesa, around Barranca Mesa, around Northern Area, around Western Area, around Downtown and back again.
Partridge is training to walk the 2014 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte, North Carolina Oct. 25-26. This is the 14th year that she has participated in the Avon Walks, which have evolved over the years from a 3-day 60-mile walk to a 2-day 39.3-mile walk.
“It was actually easier when it was a 3-day walk, because we only walked 20 miles per day,” Partridge said. “Now, we walk a marathon on the first day which is 26.2 miles, that extra 6 miles is two additional hours on your feet.”
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is held in several cities and Partridge has walked in a variety of them including multiple locations around Denver and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains; Los Angeles, CA; Santa Barbara, CA, and Seattle, Wash. This year she selected Charlotte, N.C., because it is the final walk of the year and participants get to celebrate not only their fundraising efforts, but also the fundraising total of all the walks for the entire year.
“One of my favorite parts of the walks is closing ceremonies, where we get to see the funds we raised awarded to researchers, clinics, mobile mammography programs, and programs that provide food and transportation for women undergoing treatment,” Partridge said. “When the grant recipients walk out on stage and are handed checks, it really makes you feel like all the training, fundraising, and walking is making a difference. Last year, Avon Walkers raised about $14 million.”
Partridge has served in many capacities for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, in addition to being a walker. She has been a training walk leader, helping first-time walkers prepare for the walks each year. She has been a motivational speaker at Avon Walk events at Mile High Stadium and the Air Force Academy. She has participated in the Saturday night entertainment for the walkers during the event. And, she is a team captain, leading the “Mountains and Molehills” team, which includes her sister Valerie Partridge and other walkers from across the country.
In 2009, the Colorado State Legislator Judy Solano honored Partridge with a Resolution recognizing her dedication to raising funds for breast cancer awareness, education, treatment and research. The Resolution is stored in a box, along with photos, credentials, shoes, hats, pins, wrist bands, pom poms, and other memorabilia from every walk since 2001.
“The first walk, I was walking for myself, to celebrate all that I had to be grateful for, thanks to early detection. The second year, I was walking in memory of one of the women I trained with for the first walk. Since then it has just snowballed, I know so many people who have survived, so many people who passed, and so many people who have lost someone,” Partridge said.
She wears a pair of pink wings when she participates in the event. The wings are covered with pink ribbons, and on each ribbon is the name of someone she knew or someone one of her donors has asked her to remember or celebrate. One of the ribbons is for her late mother-in-law, another is for a friend she earned her black belt with.
If you want to donate to Partridge’s walk, you can donate online at her Avon Walk page http://info.avonfoundation.org/goto/npartridge or you can write a check to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and mail it to: Nancy Partridge, PO Box 1547, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Please specify if you would like a name included on a ribbon.
2012 Mountains and Molehills team celebrates the end of the walk in Keystone, Colo., from left, Valerie Partridge, Jeanice Berger, Nancy Partridge, David Snyder and Jennie Bonfiglio. Courtesy photo
Dr. Susan Love celebrates receiving $250,000 for her national study at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara, Calif. Courtesy photo