Nancy Partridge participating in a fundraising 60-mile endurance walk to raise funds for breast cancer research, education and treatment in 2001 in Colorado. Courtesy photo
- Part one in a series
Stage III fire restrictions closed the trails in Los Alamos County. This is a good thing; because, there are people out there who do stupid things that make life harder for the dedicated men and women who protect our community during wildfires. I count myself among them.
At the time of the Cerro Grande Fire I was a news reporter in Colorado. Driving my red Subaru hatchback with a Colorado Press Plate displayed on the dash, I came to Los Alamos to cover the fire; and, as I was leaving a press conference in the parking lot of the Los Alamos Inn, I “accidentally” turned the wrong way on Trinity. I made my way north on Diamond to the Pueblo Landfill, a vantage point from which I could see my parents’ house was still standing.
Armed with that information, I left Los Alamos via the truck route. Wafts of smoke rose from charred, broken tree trunks. Patches of healthy green pine and pinon were disharmoniously interspersed between the charcoal remains. Black grass smoldered along the shoulder of the road.
The year of Cerro Grande, 2000, was a year that changed Los Alamos forever. It also was a year that changed me forever. It was the year I had a lumpectomy. In gratitude for the early detection and minor surgery that prevented a dire outcome, I signed up to participate in a fundraising 60-mile endurance walk to raise funds for breast cancer research, education and treatment.
That first walk was in 2001, from Fort Collins, Colo., to Boulder.
Over the years I have walked trails, sidewalks and streets in Colorado, California, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts and Washington State. I have walked for the Avon Foundation, the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen. (I have no brand loyalty, just cause loyalty). I also run in the Race for the Cure in Denver and the Hadassah Run for Her Life 10k/5k in Los Alamos.
This is my 18th year training, fundraising and walking. The journey to participate in one of this year’s events begins by walking the black asphalt streets and adjoining gray sidewalks of Los Alamos County. No training on trails, because they are closed.
Just as three-day walkers pass the miles by chatting and sharing their stories, I would like to invite the readers of the Los Alamos Daily Post to join me on my adventure. There are many topics for us to discuss as we walk the miles training for the 60-mile Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk in Seattle in September, followed by the 5-mile Avon Foundation/American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in October in Santa Fe.
We will chat about the people for whom I walk, breast cancer facts and statistics, research and treatments, the view along the streets of Los Alamos, and the 60-mile event experience, among other topics. Everyone knows someone, a woman or a man, who has had breast cancer or is statistically likely to develop it during their lifetime.
Tie your shoes, grab a water bottle, and come walk with me.
Nancy Partridge is a native of Los Alamos. She learned to walk about a year after being born at Los Alamos Medical Center. To donate or join Team Nancy on either fundraising walk, visit www.the3day.org/goto/NancyPartridge (Susan G Komen 3-Day 60-mile walk in Seattle Sept. 14-17) http://main.acsevents.org/goto/npartridge (Avon & American Cancer Society 5-mile walk Oct. 6 in Santa Fe.)