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May 7, 2008 > Walk for life

Walk for life

By Brittney Hansen

Each year, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer unites people from all over the country who have been affected by breast cancer, and are passionate about fighting for a cure.

Mitzi Kruger was a wife and mother, a sister, a grandmother, and a best friend. "She lost her battle with breast cancer in April of 2005," said Mitzi's step-daughter Rebecca Kruger. "She fought so gallantly, so well that at times she was in pain and we never knew because she put the needs of everyone else before herself." Although Mitzi lost her battle with breast cancer, her family and friends refused to let her memory fade away.

Ten team members, including Mitzi's husband Roger and other family, plus several friends, will be participating in this year's San Francisco Avon Breast Cancer Walk with the team name, Mitzi's Mammories. Together, they will raise funds for the foundation and walk for two days and 39 miles in order to save lives.

Mitzi's Mammories will be walking along with many other teams in the Fifth Annual 2008 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco, on July 12 - 13. For some of the team members, this is not the first event that they have been a part of; Karen Hoppa, Mitzi's sister, will be attending in her third walk this year, and Rebecca Kruger, the team captain, will be attending her second walk. Mitzi's husband Roger and Rebecca's boyfriend Paul Nelson have both been crew members in previous walks, but for the other six team members this is a new experience.

For these walkers, it is not just an event that they participate in; it is a way for them to save lives in the name of beloved family members and friends who succumbed to breast cancer. Most of the participants are people who were affected by breast cancer, either personally or through family members and friends who battled the disease.

Based in Fremont, the team is spending time training for the two-day, 39-mile hike in San Francisco, and each team member must raise at least $1,800 in order to participate. The money raised will go toward research to end breast cancer, so it is important for those who feel led to do so, to donate to the team. Mitzi's Mammories will be one of dozens of teams participating in the walk, and every dollar counts toward saving lives.

"I look at my niece Makayla," said Rebecca, "and see her Nana Mitzi in her eyes, and that is why I am doing this Avon Walk, for my now three nieces to not have to go through what my sister and I went through, seeing our mom take her last breath (because of breast cancer)."

There are nine walks this year located in places all over the country from San Francisco and Los Angeles, to Boston and New York. Funds raised in this annual event go toward the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Foundation, and are distributed within communities where each of the walks takes place. By participating in this nation-wide event, walkers and crew members as well as sponsors and donors are helping those fighting against breast cancer; from doctors screening and diagnosing patients, to those researching the disease and finding the best ways to treat it and, one day, cure it for good.

To learn more about the Mitzi's Mammories team members and the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, or to donate to the cause, visit the team website at

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