WHCI Staff Complete the 2013 Marathon!


The September 28-29 San Francisco marathon-and-a-half covered 26.2 miles on Saturday, with another 13.1 miles to reach the finish line on Sunday. Mary Miley and Kellie Brown, of WHCI, each committed to raising a minimum $1,800 to participate in the event, with the proceeds going to breast cancer prevention, treatment, and research. Approximately 2,000 walkers participated, and raised over $4.2 million for the Avon Foundation for Women.

Read Mary and Kellie’s inspiring stories below.

Kellie Brown’s Motivation

I decided to walk this year because of my Aunt Marianne. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, the doctors told her that only her right breast was affected. Before her mastectomy, she made a decision to remove both breasts for safe measure, and afterwards the doctors confirmed that she had made a wise decision, as they had also found cancer in her left breast.

Her strength and optimism throughout her entire diagnosis, treatment and eventually remission was so inspiring to me. I felt I needed to find a way to give back and show my support for the cause. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is all about finding a cure and making sure preventative measures are available to everyone.

Walking those 39 miles was by far the toughest challenge I have ever even attempted, but it truly pales in comparison to the everyday battles women with breast cancer face every day.

Mary Miley’s Inspiration

When my mom, Fern, found a lump in her breast, our family was devastated. She was only 65, and she was an active bowler – three leagues a week – who lived life to the fullest. After visiting with the surgeon, she chose to have a mastectomy, instead of the suggested lumpectomy. She didn’t want to leave any risk of the cancer returning and taking her out of commission during bowling season! 

I was at my mom’s bedside when she awoke from surgery, and I was able to stay with her for a couple of weeks afterwards. With effective treatments and medication, she beat breast cancer.

I’ve always wanted to do the walk in her honor, knowing she would be with me in spirit every step of the way. This was the year for me to make a HUGE commitment. The blisters, the sore muscles and the body aches were nothing compared to the pain that women and men with breast cancer suffer with every day. I’m thankful I was able to participate, and know that my fundraising helped others receive mammograms, early treatment, and other necessary services.