Charting a course toward a cancer cure

Molly Shore

Lisa Tabor knows a good route when she sees one.

As vice president of production for the Avon Walk for Breast

Cancer, the Burbank resident oversees logistics for walks in eight


U.S. cities. She is responsible for designing each course, including

the one that starts and ends at Universal CityWalk and will pass

through Burbank today and tomorrow.

“For me, it’s like a big puzzle,” Tabor said. “You spend a year


putting together all the little pieces, and when the event actually

hits, you’ve got your completed jigsaw puzzle.”

Nearly 1,800 walkers are expected to participate in this weekend’s

run, which offers participants a choice of distances -- 26.2 miles on

the first day or 39.1 miles over two days. Participants have raised

$1,750 each to enter, event spokeswoman Caroline Weilert said. The

money will fund breast cancer programs and research.

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women in


the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. An estimated

211,000 women nationwide will be diagnosed with the disease this

year, 40,000 of which will die. In California, approximately 21,100

new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed, and about 4,000 will

die from the disease.

Tabor, 38, has been involved with special event fund-raising for

various organizations and companies over the past 13 years. The

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer holds a special place in her heart.


Last September, Tabor’s stepmother was diagnosed with breast

cancer and underwent surgery. Paula Millimet, 63, has completed

chemotherapy and is expected to finish her radiation treatments this


“I definitely think I’m doing this for Paula,” Tabor said. “It

gives me one more very strong reason for why I do this.”

Hearing the stories of so many cancer survivors serves as an

inspiration for Tabor.

“It’s an incredible feeling to spend all of these weekends with

this group of women and men who are united in a single cause -- to

put an end to breast cancer,” she said.

Walkers, who will travel along Riverside Drive in Burbank, are

expected to reach the General Motors Training Center at Riverside and

Main Street in Burbank around 7:10 a.m. today, where a cheering

section will greet them, Tabor said.

Walkers will then continue to Johnny Carson Park on Bob Hope

Drive. From there, they will walk to Alameda Avenue and then to Olive

Avenue and take Olive to Avon Street past Stevenson Elementary

School. Participants will turn left on Verdugo Avenue and continue to

Los Angeles.

The site of the Wellness Village, where participants camp

overnight, will be at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, Tabor said.