The Power of 39 – AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Takes Over the Windy City and Beantown

By: All for the Breast Editorial Team, July 14, 2017

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer recently walked through Chicago and Boston, making a big, pink statement! As our third and fourth walks of the season, 39ers were out in full force and were ready to take on the 2-day, 39.3 mile challenge with fierceness and passion. Whether they were a long-time alumni or first-time walker, breast cancer thriver or walking to do something bold, they all came together for an incredible and transformational two days.

Meet some of our AVON 39ers

Since 2003, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in the walk helping to make a direct impact in their local communities and nationwide, but Sandra Jordon has been around since the beginning. Chicago marked her 46th event! Sandra started walking to lose weight and she credits AVON 39 with saving her life. But, when her mom was diagnosed with and passed away from cancer a few years ago, the walk took on even more meaning. Sandra was fired-up and knew that participating in AVON 39 was more important than ever. She was this year’s Closing Ceremony speaker and inspired new and alumni walkers to keep fighting. “My first AVON walk was 17 years ago. I was 359 pounds and I knew it was something I needed to do – emotionally and physically! 16 months later, I am proud to say I was down to 247 pounds. And that gave me the motivation to walk in every AVON 39 city! I credit this walk with saving my life. Now I also walk for my mom, sisters, friends and all of the amazing 39ers out there,” Sandra said.


First-time walker and Avon Representative, Shirl Papaian, earned her 39 in Chicago in memory of her cousin and for other family members diagnosed with breast cancer. Hear more about her story and why walking is so important to her.


Laura Swansson was one of our speakers in Boston. She is a metastatic breast cancer survivor and thriver, and while she’s been in and out of treatment for the past nine years, she does not let herself be defined by this disease. She’s a mom. A wife. A softball and basketball coach. She likes to sing in the shower, laugh, hike, eat chocolate and spend time with her family. Laura also likes to share her cancer story with others with the hope of inspiring them to appreciate the mundane. During Boston’s opening ceremony, she shared a quote with her fellow 39ers and challenged everyone to live by it: “Every day may not be good. But there is something good in every day. Find it.”


Sandra, Shirl and Laura are inspirations. They motivate others to keep going, and their stories are just a few of the millions of reasons why AVON 39 is so important.

Get Involved with AVON 39

Since AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer’s launch in 2003, more than 235,000 participants have raised nearly $620,000,000. Funds raised are distributed to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations.

While the 2017 Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston and San Francisco walks are complete, we have two more walks to go! There’s still time to register for Santa Barbara (September 9-10); and New York (October 14-15). You can also register for 2018 events.

As the season continues, you can get involved by following the #Powerof39 conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram. And you can see photos from all walk weekends on Flickr.

I hope to see you on the route!