Archive for the ‘Susan G. Komen 3 Day’ Category

I am a Survivor!

Friday, November 23rd, 2012


I did it!  I walked 60 miles in 3 days without one blister, one complaint or one regret.  It was truly a life-changing event.

And, I did not do it alone.  I was one of 2,500 other amazing and courageous women and men who joined the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk this last weekend in San Diego to support their loved ones battling breast cancer and remember those that did not make it.  To the walkers, I am truly thankful.  And, to my team, Patricia, Misty and Rosa Maria, I am not only thankful; I am blessed.

And to all of you “Walking Dead” fans out there, being called a “walker” all weekend was a bit disturbing I must admit.  There were moments I thought about taking a bite out of my cousin Patricia’s arm.  I’m just saying.

Decked in pink and adorned with inspirational buttons, stickers, and ribbons we walked up hill and down, along the beach, through neighborhoods, across old town and over to down town.  You could not miss us as we dodged traffic, spectators, walker stalkers and rain.  Not because we were wearing hot pink shoes.  No, you could not miss us because we were the ones with a spring in our step and a smile on our face all the way to the finish line.

1st day - all smiles!

Although our team attire was not something you would wear on a normal day, we were quite tame compared to the many walkers walking along side us.  There were women with bedazzled bras, feathered hats and butterfly wings, and men in skirts, tights and tutus.  Some carried balloons, some carried signs, and some had pictures of lost loved ones pinned to their backs with the date that breast cancer took them from their lives.

I was in awe of the entire event: the organization, the mini tent-city, the food, the volunteers, even the showers with hot water, almost better than home, amazing.  But what awed me the most were the people we met along the way.

We met women battling breast cancer for the second and third time.  No hair, no breasts but lots of courage and hope.  We met Michael, a cancer survivor, walking for his daughter.  He wanted to make a difference in her life.  We met way too young Sara, barely 30, diagnosed with breast cancer 3 months before her wedding date.  She had her eggs frozen before the chemo in hopes of having a baby of her own someday.  We met beautiful and vibrant Mary, a mother of two young children and a triple negative survivor, one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.  And, then there was my hero, actually they were all my heroes, but this 81 year-old woman; I did not catch her name, walked all 60 miles with her granddaughter and a cane.

Teams made up of friends, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, aunts, uncles, husbands, and sons.  And team names like “Save Second Base,” “Thanks for the Mammaries,” “Breast Friends,” and “Beer for Boobs.”  They walked for someone they know or knew or just because they wanted to do something good and meaningful with their lives.

Deanne and Sara

I could go on and on with stories like these.  Real women, real men fighting for their lives or the lives of someone they love dearly.  One man walked every single Susan. G. Komen 3-Day around the United States this year in honor of his wife battling breast cancer.   A young 12 year-old boy became part of the 3-Day youth core for his six aunts, all diagnosed with breast cancer.  His mom is the only one of the sisters that does not have breast cancer.

Then there were the volunteers; too many to count.  There was the youth core in yellow shirts always at our service.  The dads with their sons at the end of the day putting up our tents, the cooks up at 3:00 am preparing food for the next day, the medics icing our sore feet and bandaging our blisters, and the cheer squads keeping our spirits high.

We were treated like Queens and Kings; our comfort and safety priority.  The only thing they didn’t do for us is fluff our pillows at night.

Dressed in leather chaps and black vests, a biker gang acted as crossing guards at every light and stop sign.  They decorated their motorcycles in pink bras and entertained us with their dance moves while making sure we maneuvered the traffic safely.  Sweeper vans drove the route all day long blasting music, cheering us on and picking up those that could not walk another step.  And, a voluntary police force on bicycles dressed in short shorts and pink polo shirts packing big ass steroes and heat made sure we were safe.  One particular police officer wore a pink thong under his shorts pulled up high and stuffed it with dollar bills as he danced to “Apple Bottom Jeans” at the cheering stations.  Thank you Mr. Police Officer.

They weren’t the only cheerleaders.  There were the young survivors group providing Gatorade and cookies, cute shirtless beach boys passing out fireball shots and gummi bears soaked in vodka, Starbucks employees supplying hot coffee with Baily’s and Cream and the “Melon Men.”  I can’t forget the “Melon Men.”  Four men wearing bras stuffed with small watermelons cheering us on, giving us hugs, high fives and letting us cop a feel as we walked by.

And my favorite, Mr. Smiley and Little Grin, a father and his 10 year old daughter, cheering us on at every pit stop along the route, starting at 7:30 am sharp and ending with the sun, this father-daughter team sang, danced, and passed out smiley face pins as his wife and her mother walked for her tenth year.

2nd Day - Still Smiling!

Heading to the showers after walking 20 miles!

A crazy pink parade with a cause, that’s what it was.  A big party, a sisterhood, a brotherhood, a march, a protest; everyone coming together in hopes that we can make a difference and save lives.  We laughed, we cried, and we shared our stories.  There is no better medicine than that.

My medicine! Rosa Maria, Patricia, Me and Misty

The grand finale, I walked arm in arm with all the survivors and across the finish line to the survivor’s circle as the other walkers took one shoe off and raised it high up in the air in honor of all of us that kicked breast cancer’s ass.  I could not stop the tears.  I admit I was a blubbering idiot.  Oh man, here they come again.

Survivors Circle!

I was going to make this a short blog and simply share some pictures of the weekend, but soon realized while writing this through blurred vision, it was way too life changing of an event to treat it as anything less.

The 3-Day Walk was an incredible triumph for me; one of deep healing and personal empowerment.  I feel like I could climb Mt. Everest right now.  And, I could not have done it without all of you.  I would like to thank each and every one of you that made this experience possible for me.   Your donations and book purchases helped me to raise $2,300 towards the 6 million dollars raised just for the San Diego walk alone.  That is 2 million more than last year.  Wow, who would have known after the tough year Komen just faced.  Your hard earned money goes to mammograms for those who can’t afford them, house cleaning for women going through chemo, drug trials, research for a cure and new recently developed treatments like Herceptin, an antibody that saved my life.

And, thank you to my beautiful cousin, Patricia, who organized the team.  Her energy and wonderful OCD qualities helped to make this an experience I will never forget even with chemo brain.  In fact, we are already planning next year.  I would also like to thank my dear friend, Raundi, who did not walk but she was there in spirit.  She helped me to fundraise and was the brainchild behind “The Mammary Chronicles.”  I will use your words again Raundi, “You are rad.  I love you!”  And thank you mom and dad and all your friends that contributed financially.  Without all of you I would not have made my goal.  And my family, my sweet family, Thank you! I spent many weekends on the trail and late nights at coffeee shops and book stores on our tour.  I know you had to eat a lot of Trader Joe’s burritos these last few months.

Breast Cousins!

You are all a huge part of my healing process.  Your love, support and belief in me keep me alive and keep my cancer from coming back.  And for that words cannot express how eternally grateful I am to you.  Thank you!

So, here I go again.  If you see a woman in hot pink shoes, it’s probably me, or someone like me ‘cause there are a lot of us out there.  Give us a honk and remember we walk for you and we walk for ourselves.  We walk for our mothers and we walk for our grandmothers.  We walk for our children and we walk for our children’s children.  And we walk for all those beautiful bodacious boobs out there and the men that love them!

If you would like to join our team, let me know, we would love to have you.  I promise, it will be nothing less than life changing!






The Mammary Chronicles: Bearing Breasts Tour

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

You are invited to





and THE WOMAN who have SURVIVED them and honoring those who haven’t.



Will be performing pieces from their chapbook:



(A bodacious little book of boobs)

 To order yout own copy of the book, please E-mail


All proceeds will benefit:

Deanne Brown and Patricia Burkhardt’s

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Team

To make a donation to the team, click on the link below




  October 2nd


  Hosted by SUPERHERO Jaimes Palacio

  125 N. Broadway, Artist’s Village, Santa Ana;   714.835-8840.




October 23rd

The Ugly Mug, 8pm

Hosted by Two Idiots Pedalling Poetry – Ben Trigg and Steve Ramirez

261 North Glassell, Orange, CA; 714-997-5610


November 3rd –

Pondwater Society, 4pm


Hosted by Ed and Joanne Baines

(The King and Queen of Raundi’s heart)

16504 E. Masline, Covina Ca


November 13th –

BARNES AND NOBLE, Marina Pacifica Long Beach, 7pm

with the flipping gorgeous and talented Ricki Mandeville

hosted by G. Murray Thomas (who’s worth is about a billion G’s)

Long Beach, Marina Pacifica Mall, 6326 E. PCH, L.B. 90803; 562.431-2253.


November 14th –

SHOUT!!! , Half off books, 7pm

Hosted by Eric Morago. (The reason you will never see Spiderman anywhere on the 2nd Wednesday of every month)

6708 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier 90601.


November 27th –


Hosted by Rick Lupert. The man who contains more poetry per cubic inch than any poet alive or dead.


December 1-

Friends Café, 8pm

425 S. Myrtle, Monrovia, CA, 91016

OPEN MIC – $3 entry fee – SIGN-UP starts at 7:30PM

Hosted by MOMS WRITE featuring Laura Henneforth, Angela Moore, Jennifer Morford,



(Casey Brown, Harrison Moore, Jaron Moore & Trevor Moore)


Art available by local artist LAURA HENNEFORTH


January 19th-

Saturday Afternoon Poetry, 3-5pm

Hosted by Don “The King of Poetry” Kingfisher



Can’t make any of tour dates?

Stay tuned, more are being added everyday




Deanne Brown is the lead singer in a rock band and has a tattoo of a phoenix on her left shoulder.  More than just a symbol of the city from which she hails. This bird rising from the flames is also a symbol of her spirit. Whether she is homeschooling, carpooling, training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for a Cure, or writing her anthology about her adventures in breast cancer, she emerges wiser, stronger and more empowered to find a better way of life. Her courage to say “yes” to her passions as often as possible, even if it means bucking convention every step of the way, is an inspiration to everyone who knows her. Her unique philosophy on education made the front page of the Chicago Tribune, the California Homeschooler and taught Dr. Phil a thing or two about parenting. She is also a contributing writer for Self Esteem E-Magazine and has been published on Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life blog. You can read about some of her greatest adventures with her family, friends and all-girl band “Daisy Chain” in her blog


Raundi Moore-Kondo is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, bass player and body boarding buddy who is convinced the zombie apocalypse is just another metaphor for poetry–which explains her compulsion to want to infect everyone she meets. Alas, she founded For The Love of Words, offering creative writing and poetry workshops for writers of all ages. She is published in Don’t Blame the Ugly Mug on Tebot Bach, Aim For the Head on Write Bloody Press, and recently in the blog My Poem Rocks. She has been the feature at throughout Southern California as Well as KPFK’s Poet’s Café. Most recently she was the Poet of the Month for Moon Tide Press and the winner of The Lightbulbmouth Literary Adventure Part V. Her first poetry collection, Let the Ends Spill Over Your Lips, will be available in Fall of 2012.


If you would like to book THE MAMMARY CHRONICLES for show, charity ball, or hell-raising

give Raundi a call at




Pink is My New Normal

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

It is not easy living in the wake of Breast Cancer.  Although the battle is won and my life is back to normal, it will never truly be normal.  I am forever stained pink.  But, as I have recently learned, pink is not necessarily a bad color if you wear it right. 

Slipping into my much loved hot pink Nike running shoes, I walked ten miles last Saturday and Sunday in preparation for the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk in San Diego this November.  I live right next door to gorgeous hiking trails that wind in, out, and around Santiago Creek, a perfect place for training.  You will find me there almost every day as I get ready to walk sixty miles in three days.

Why am I doing this? 

It is easy to get lost in the confusion of breast cancer.  And the daily upkeep is both lonely and overwhelming at times.  Juicing, exercise, supplements, dry rubs, meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking consume me.  Worried that cancer may bear its ugly head again consumes me.  Blaming myself for getting cancer in the first place consumes me.  And, concern that I will not be here for my kiddos to see them turn into magnificent glorious adults consumes me.  It is time to take all this “consuming energy” and put it somewhere else for god’s sake, because honestly, worrying about me all the time is exhausting.   

So, as Mahatma Gandhi so brilliantly said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”   

Although, I do not plan to go on a twenty-one day hunger strike, like Gandhi, I do plan to walk sixty miles in three days and raise $2,300.  This is my way to finally give back, reach out to others that share my same fate, and take a stand against breast cancer.

Someone has to take a stand, because, believe it or not, there was a time when breast cancer was considered a socially taboo subject.  Back in 1974, when Betty Ford, a personal hero of mine, was first diagnosed with breast cancer, ‘breasts’ were considered a bad word, and breast cancer was not to be discussed in public.  But, the bold and brave Betty went against the grain, risked a politically incorrect stance, spoke up and shared her story. 

Six years later, in 1980, Susan Komen died of breast cancer.  On her death bead, Susan asked her sister, Nancy Brinker, to promise to find a way to put an end to breast cancer, thus, the birth of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.  When putting together a “press junket for the organization’s first fundraising event in Dallas in 1981, Komen’s public relations people called breast cancer “female cancer” when talking with reporters. ‘Newspapers at the time,’ Brinker said, ‘would not print the word ‘breast’.’’

I was a freshman in high school at the time.  Damn, I truly thought we were more progressive in the 80’s than that. 

Today, fundraisers, pink ribbons, “I Love Boobies” bracelets, and “Save the Ta Ta’s t-shirts abound.  Just the other day, while training, I saw a guy, very good looking I might add, riding his bike with the words, “Bikers for Boobs” written across his back.  Breasts have come a long way!  And, breast cancer is no longer a taboo subject, thanks in part to women like Betty Ford, Nancy Brinker and Susan Komen. 

By the way, three years after Susan died Nancy Brinker was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Betty Ford called Nancy at the hospital, “She told me to cry and then get back up on my feet and make my plans,” Nancy said. “She told me that I’m strong and I can get through it.” 

If Betty were alive today, I am sure she would tell Nancy the same thing again in the midst of the current controversy Brinker is facing.  “Get back on your feet girl,” I imagine her saying.  I hope it will all eventually be worked out and people will remember why this grassroots foundation started in the first place. 

So Betty, in honor of you, Susan, Nancy and all the other women and men who have been faced with this deadly disease, I am back on my feet, and proud to be walking in your footsteps.

It is not going to be easy but I am ready for the challenge. 

And a challenge it will be.  Yesterday on my walk, I had to find a new trail because Santiago Creek was roped off with yellow caution tape, with a sign, “Beware of aggressive bees.”  Today, I am icing my sore feet.  Chemo induced neuropathy leaves my legs feeling like jelly and my feet screaming out in pain.  But, these are hurdles I plan to soar over just like Lolo Jones in the Olympics. 

My husband told me the other day, “Damn, woman, you are a lot of work.”  Although, this is not exactly what he meant, he is right.  I am not easy.  I always have a new adventure in the works, another challenge to face, or a cause that takes us out of our comfort zone. 

So my dear friends, loved ones and loyal readers please bear with me as I take on another adventure and ask you to help me reach my fundraising goal of $2,300.

If you can help in any way, go to my personal page at the Susan G. Komen website and click on “Donate to Deanne in 2012” at the following link:

And, if you see a woman in hot pink Nike running shoes walking in your neighborhood, give me a honk and remember; I walk for you and I walk for me.  I walk for our children and I walk for our children’s children.  I walk for Biker’s for Boobs and pink ribbons.  And, last but not least, I walk for Betty!

Thank you all for your love and support.  XOXO