Friday, June 22, 2007

Avon Breast Cancer Walk

This coming September 15th & 16th I have committed myself to walk almost 40 miles, with thousands of other men and women to help find a cure for breast cancer. We will forge new friendships, get blisters on our feet, drink countless bottles of water, sleep in tents, and walk 26 miles one day and 13 miles the next; all the while raising money for breast cancer research. We have committed to the training and fundraising required to participate in this life changing event known as The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer . The net proceeds from this event (and others across America) will support non-profit breast health programs, as well as medical research to help find a cure for breast cancer.

I've been touched my so many stories from my friends and loved ones on how they were personally affected by breast cancer. Whether they themselves are a survivor, know someone battling breast cancer, or have lost a loved one to the disease. I've been humbled and challenged by your personal accounts and will walk in tribute to them.

My story is pretty simple, but at the time was quite a scare. I awoke one Saturday morning, over two years ago, and inadvertently found a lump in my right breast. By Monday morning I was in the doctors office. On Tuesday I had undergone a mammogram and breast sonogram. On Thursday I was in surgery having not one, but three lumps removed as well as several small masses. Two of the lumps removed hadn't shown on the mammogram. Within the span of one week my life had drastically stopped and I was confronted with the possibility of having breast cancer. The morning of my surgery there were several other women going in for breast related surgeries. When all was said and done, my lumps were benign, however, I've never forgotten the other women who went into surgery that same day and received the difficult diagnosis of breast cancer. From that day on, I promised myself that I would do my part to help those who despite optimism, prayers and the best of medical care, suffer from breast cancer. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is a great way for me to show my gratitude for my positive outcome as well as help those who suffer from this terrible disease. I'm asking for your help as well.

This year, over 180,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Over 40,000 will die.

That's why we're walking.

To do something big.

To be a part of something special, and something very, very important.
We hope that you'll be a partner with us in this effort.

Each walker must commit to raising at least $2,000. Maybe we're crazy--but if this is what it takes to find a cure, and help our many friends and family who are breast cancer survivors--we'll be there.

I'm asking for your support. Would you commit to making a fully tax-deductible donation toward my efforts to help us meet our goal? I'd like to personally thank each one of you for joining us in this fight. You can make your donation on-line at: – click on Make a Donation – then click on Donate to a Participate, select Los Angeles and then type in my name (LoriAnn Boyer - for those of you who've already forgotten who sent this email). You can make a single donation or spread your contribution over several months. Any support will be most graciously appreciated.

In the time it has taken you to read this, another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.

Please help us change that statistic.

Thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart.


First Crush

For the past several months my son has had a crush on a girl at school. It wasn’t until the last month that he finally opened up and shared his hearts intended with me. I had had my suspicions. He was showering more thoroughly and was actually using the soap and shampoo. A huge feat when you’re parenting a pre-teen. He readied himself for school one half hour earlier than usual, paying careful attention to wardrobe and hair. Dressing out of the hamper and walking out the door with bed head is apparently SO yesterday. He requested a lesson on how to apply deodorant and inquired as to whether he should start wearing cologne. Furthermore, he would walk around on weekends forlorn and anxious for Monday morning to arrive. With the exception of Pastor’s and Priests, I don’t know anyone who looks forward to Monday’s.

While driving home from Baskin Robins (please don’t tell my Weight Watcher’s instructor), my son asked me what it felt like to be in love. WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE IN LOVE? Why… it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. It’s euphoric, beautiful, silly, tender, invigorating, heart thumping. It’s sky rockets in the night. In love is the most amazing place to be.

My son asked me what my first crush was like. I love when I can give my son a peek into my past. A connection to who I was as a child. He’s always comforted to know that I’ve been where he is and that it’s all part of the growing up process.

My first crush came in 5th grade. I fell madly, deeply, and unabashedly in love with my teacher, Mr. Pontes. He was gorgeous, by a ten year-olds standards. I was giddy with excitement at the start of each school day and hated when the day came to a close. That meant a long bus ride home and a night of counting the hours until I could be reunited with my beloved.

In an effort to impress Mr. Pontes, I worked diligently on all of my assignments. After all, I had to show him I was his intellectual equal. I had read that men like women with long, silky hair so I kept my hair long and combed perfectly. I could have been in a coma or traction and, yet, wouldn’t miss a day of school. I watched Mr. Pontes with adoration as he would glide through the classroom dispensing his knowledge upon us. I found him to be so dreamy. I loved the feelings I was experiencing; joy, exhilaration, butterflies, and intense fondness. I was convinced that Mr. Pontes felt the same way but that he chose to maintain a modicum of professionalism in the classroom, all the while pining for me when we weren’t together. I was frustrated beyond words when he called in sick one day and I had to endure a substitute for the day. How dare he not consider my feelings.

I didn’t care that there was a 20 year age difference, or that he was married with two kids. I was convince that Mr. Pontes was just as enraptured with me as I him and would patiently wait for me to turn 18. At which point he would divorce his wife, profess his love to me, we’d get married, have seven children and live happily every after. Of course, I had no idea that I was positioning myself to be a home wrecker. Great; a home wrecker at 10 years-old. Clearly my morals and goals needed some maturation in ethical standards.

One Friday afternoon Mr. Pontes called me out into the hall to speak with him. I was certain that this was the moment I’d been waiting for; the moment when he would reveal his love for me. To make it even more romantic, I had also envisioned that he would also inform me that I was his most favorite student… EVER! With heart pounding anticipation and a sweet dizziness, I walked out to the hall with him. He asked me to take a seat and then crouched down to my level. Oh my heavens I thought, he’s going to propose right here and now. This was beyond phenomenal. “Lori”… Mr. Pontes began. “Yes”, I said; ready to leap off my chair, throw my arms around his neck and kiss him passionately. (Well, as passionately as a 10 year-old knows how to kiss.) Mr. Pontes continued. “Ms. Almeda informed me that you were somewhat unruly in the lunch room today and despite repeated warnings you chose not to modify your behavior. Is this true?” My heart sank. Not only was Mr. Pontes not going to propose to me, but I was being chastised for acting up during lunch. How utterly embarrassing! I so regretted my actions and wished for the floor to open up and swallow me whole. This couldn’t be happening. Mr. Pontes was the love of my life and I was standing before him a convicted lunch room anarchist. I was mortified beyond words. I burst into tears and fest up to my actions. I apologized incessantly. For my punishment I had to write all 50 state and capitals 3 times. For days I had knots in my stomach and behaved sheepishly around him. I realized by day two that I was now experiencing heartbreak. Sadly, something I’d experience several more times in my life.

I finished my year still in admiration of Mr. Pontes, but not in love. I was much more mature now. Mr. Pontes was SO yesterday. Besides, now I was in crazily in love with Erik Estrada. At least he wasn’t married with a family.

I now have the pleasure of watching my son go through his first crush. It’s reignited some very special memories. Despite my heartbreak, it was a special time and one that had a profound impact on my life. More importantly, I love that my son is open to sharing with me what he’s feeling and looking to me for advice. I’m sure I’ll walk this road with him countless times in his life. It’s a walk and road I’m thankful to share with him.