The Big Chicken

Here in Atlanta, we have a ridiculous landmark:  The Big Chicken.


photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The Big Chicken is big, ridiculous, ugly, garish…you name it. Her eyes roll around in her head, causing a distraction when one drives by (as if driving past a 56 foot tall chicken isn’t a distraction enough). She’s a landmark who’s marked her space at a major intersection here in the big city since 1963. She’s what all other chickens strive to be. She’s the biggest chicken ever.

Unless you count me, that is.

I’m scared of everything:  flying, needles, tornadoes, the dentist, spiders, dislocated joints, lake water, enclosed spaces, confrontation, math, major commitments, asking for help. Fear and anxiety are second nature to me; I completely identify with another famous chicken, Chicken Little, who fretted constantly about impending disaster and what-ifs. I have a penchant for doom and gloom. 

I’m scared. A lot. 

It ain’t pretty.

If I take a deep breath and attempt to think rationally about this chicken-ness, I realize it all boils down to one key thing:  I don’t want my children to lose me. 

How terribly and catastrophically vain, no?

It’s not just my children whom I want to ensure keep their mother; it’s all children. Moms aren’t supposed to die. Not in tornadoes, not from rogue Calculus problems, not from a tarantula bite, and certainly–most certainly–not from cancer.

You want to talk about some brave warriors, some true heroes of our age, some folks capable of tapping into the superpowers others of us just dream about? Let’s talk about those who are fighting cancer.

Angie. Elaine. Ellen. Jeannette. Lynn. Marlene. Marsha. Mary Ann. Pam. Valerie.

You likely know them by other names:  Friend. Sister. Aunt. Grandmom. Mother-in-Law. Daughter. 



Or maybe even, Me.

These folks suck up courage from the ends of their eyelashes to the tips of their toenails to go head-to-head with one awful, ugly, hideous, garish bad guy. They have parts of their bodies lopped off, tubes shoved in their chests, needles poked in their arms, and yet they’ll still think to ask you how you are doing. They have poison injected into their bodies, watch their hair fall out in clumps, field the toughest questions ever from their children, and yet their braveness still shines through huge eyes and shiny white-toothed smiles. While some of us sit around worrying about whether our child will be in the same class as his best friend, they are forced to stare at a phone, cloaked in a wet blanket of anxiety, awaiting the results from the latest PET scan. There is no room for The Big Chicken here; there’s no room for the tiniest baby chick.

Kinda makes my silly little fear of commitment look ridiculous, doesn’t it?

These warriors put on a brave face and tackle the unknown, going head to head against one of the world’s worst monsters. 

Now, that’s what I call a hero.

We live on a planet that has sent scientists to live on both inhospitable ends of it. We’ve sent people to the moon, astronauts to live for months in outer space. We can create a baby in a dish. We can build a robot the size of an insect, and we have unwound strands of DNA. But we haven’t found a cure for cancer.


In less than 10 weeks, I will be walking 60 miles with a fabulous team of folks–women, men, moms, dads, sisters, wives and daughters–who all have the same goal in mind: TO HELP FIND A CURE FOR BREAST CANCER.

Feet to Beat Breast Cancer has 28 members. We have 49 children among us. At least 12 of our members have a grandmother, mother, sister, or wife impacted by breast cancer. Five of our folks are currently knee-deep in their own battle with the disease. In fact, this year alone, over 290,000 women and men in the U.S. alone will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In a world where we have sent a rover to Mars but have yet to discover a tolerable treatment for this disease–much less a cure–this is unacceptable.

Feet to Beat Breast Cancer first teamed up in 2005, and since its inception has dedicated itself to raising funds to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Last year alone, the team raised over $88,000. So far this year, our team has raised close to $40,000–we’re about 40% of the way to our team goal of raising $100,000 by the first day of this year’s walk in Atlanta, October 18, 2013.

So here’s the point where I, Chicken Little, tackle my own personal Big Chicken and do something very, very scary. I’m asking for help.

Would you please support me as I move into a space that makes me uncomfortable? Would you consider donating to help me help our team fund research so that one day NO ONE will have to go into battle against breast cancer?  The link will take you to my personal page on the 3-Day website where you will find a way to make a donation.

If a monetary donation is not in the cards for you right now, may I still count on your support and prayers as I undertake this challenge? I am excited to push myself to the limits. I’m ready to move out of my comfort zone. I know that walking 60 miles is nothing compared to that journey so many women and men must take once they hear those awful words:  breast cancer.

60 miles is nothing compared to the journeys undertaken by Angie, Elaine, Ellen, Jeannette, Lynn, Marlene, Marsha, Mary Ann, Pam, and Valerie.

So far, I’ve been very, very fortunate. Among those names listed above, I also know them as cousin or friend, but not mom or grandmom or, thank goodness, me. Will you please help me help researchers find a way to let us all know these brave, brave individuals by one more name, the most important name out there?


We can do it. We can find a cure for this monster.

Let’s do this thing.

Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart.

Please visit the 2013 3-Day home page for more information. 

The Susan G. Komen Foundation graciously accepts matching gifts; please check to see if your business or company makes matching donations!

My participant ID is 6987448 and the Event ID is 1810.

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