Clovis woman training for marathon fund-raiser

Emilie Hornak: CNJ Correspondent

Clovis’ Lila Johnson got a good running, or at least nice brisk walking start in preparing for Avon’s 2004 Walk for Breast Cancer slated for July 10 – 11 in San Francisco.

Since deciding to participate in the 26.2 mile marathon, Johnson has been pushing herself physically by walking to and from the gym, kick boxing and going on endurance walks.

“I’m really pumped up for this,” she said last week. “I’m already packed.”

Folks around town are really supporting her, Johnson said, by doing little things like honking and waving when they see her walking to and from her workouts.

But Johnson said she’s also looking to the community for monetary support. She faces the daunting task of raising $1,800 necessary to participate in the event.

“I’ve sent out fundraiser letters to my friends, family and co-workers all over the country asking them to contribute,” she said, “but I’ve decided that I’m doing this even if I have to take money out of my savings.”

As of last week, Johnson’s had raised $500.

Anyone interested in supporting Johnson can do so by visiting the Web site www.avonwalk.org. Click on sponsor a walker and then follow the link to the San Francisco event.

Entering Johnson’s name will lead to a page where people can make pledges in her name.

Johnson, whose maternal grandmother recently underwent a mastectomy and whose paternal grandmother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, says supporting this cause goes beyond supporting research. Funds raised through the event also helps poor, medically under served and elderly patients.