People: Lisa Cushing is in it for the long walk

March 01, 2004|GARY MOYERS

Lisa Cushing is practicing for a long, long walk. The Old Bridge Road mother of two plans to participate in the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade walk in Washington, D.C., May 1-2, and her goal is to walk 40 miles in two days.

"As a kid, I was always getting involved in stuff like this, but I haven't done this kind of thing in a few years," she said. "I saw an ad for this walk in a magazine last year, and it piqued my interest. I'm from the D.C. area, and the whole breast cancer thing is something I can relate to."

Cushing's mother is a breast cancer survivor, while Cushing herself went through the wait-and-worry ordeal of a biopsy at age 33 that turned out to be benign.

"It's something that's touched my family, and it's a cause that needs our support," she said. "If walking for a weekend helps out, then I can walk for a weekend."


Participants in the Avon walk solicit sponsors for their efforts, and each walker is required to raise $1,800.

"I'm going for $2,000," said Cushing. "I don't want to get the minimum. I'd like to get a little more."

That same attitude of going for a little extra is the driving force behind Cushing's desire to walk 40 miles in two days. Participants are not required to walk that far; they're given the option of walking lesser amounts.

"It's called a marathon walk, and a marathon is 26.2 miles," said Cushing. "So that's what I want to walk that first day. Then we walk a half-marathon the second day."

Cushing is training at the William E. "Bunny" Davis Recreation Center with Chuck Miller to get her body ready for the punishment of 40 miles in two days.

"He's been one of my biggest supporters," said Cushing. "He's always telling me, 'come on, one more minute' or something like that. He gives good advice."

Her 10-year-old son is also a vocal booster, while her 2-year-old is a training partner.

"When the weather is nice enough to walk outside, I push a stroller," she said. "The little one gets in the stroller, takes a nap, watches the scenery, whatever, and we walk for about three hours. That's about as long as he's willing to stay in the stroller."

She also bought a treadmill to continue her training during bad weather.

"I'm up to walking about 12 miles or so at one stretch, but it's getting better," she said. "And I'm already on my second pair of walking shoes."

Cushing anticipates a nice contingent of family and friends to support her on the walk. "I still have a lot of family, including my mother, who live in that area," she said.

The D.C. walk, one of six across the country, expects more than 3,000 participants for the two-day event. The actual walk begins at 8 a.m. May 1, but participants and support personnel will arrive the night before to register and take part in motivational events.

"You walk your distance on Saturday, whether it's the full marathon distance or not, then we have a big event Saturday night," said Cushing. "I may just want to rest my feet by that time, who knows?"

The fund-raising effort is progressing. "Right now I guess I'm about halfway there," she said. "I'm always looking for more sponsors. I hit up the people in my neighborhood, and now I'm branching out."

Cushing said the easiest way to sign up to sponsor is on the Avon Walk Internet site.

"I've had people tell me they signed up online and were able to immediately download tax deduction forms," she said. "People who mail checks get tax forms back within two weeks. This whole thing is pretty well organized."

Persons or businesses wishing to sponsor Cushing may call her at (859) 236-5666, or write her at 124 Old Bridge Road, Danville 40423. To donate online, visit and click on the donate link on the right side of the page. Follow the links to donate to a specific walker to donate to Cushing.

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