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Cardno ChemRisk Employees Participate in Avon 39 Walk in Chicago

June 3rd and 4th, three employees of Cardno ChemRisk participated in the Avon walk to end breast cancer.  The Avon walk to end breast cancer occurs in seven US cities every year and asks each participant to raise at least $1800 and to walk 39.3 miles over the course of two days.  It started in 2003 and to date has raised over $600 million.  This is Laura Beth’s second year walking in memory of her Grandma Schwab, who lost her battle to breast cancer 20 years ago, and in honor of her sister-in-law, Hannah, who was diagnosed two years ago (and who is doing great!).   This year #TeamHanna (Laura Beth Miller, Laurie Armijo and Stacey Benson) raised over $11,000 and completed all miles of the walk in Chicago.  The Chicago event collectively raised over $3.1 million.  The money raised for this event will be used to “accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer”.  


Breast cancer is such a pervasive condition in the US that it is hard to find someone who has not been impacted in some way by this cancer diagnosis.  This became obvious as we walked the streets of Chicago and were cheered on and supported by so many caring and energetic people! Lone survivors wearing their pink sashes clapped for us and thanked us for walking.  Groups of survivors wore tutus, played music, and passed out beaded necklaces. Children eagerly handed out pink lemonade and suckers.  Families held signs in solidarity supporting our efforts.

As participants, we got to walk with amazing and inspiring women and men who have been impacted by breast cancer.  We saw women who had recently finished treatment, still wearing compression sleeves, still waiting for their hair to grow back walking steadfastly toward the finish line.  We saw men walking in memory of their mothers, their wives, their daughters, and their sisters.  We watched family members walking for their sisters, mothers, aunts, daughters, and cousins who were unable to walk themselves.  We witnessed amazing volunteers giving of their time to provide medical assistance to walkers; crew members who ensured food, water and ice were readily accessible; and motor crew members who traveled with music and costumes to inspire and provide safe passage to walkers throughout busy downtown streets and quaint suburban neighborhoods.

Are we a little sore – yes… Are we a little tired after two hot days in the sun… yes… was it worth every inspiring step… YES!.  Laura Beth is hoping that every year her team will grow a little bigger!  Who is ready to join #TeamHannah in the effort and walk in the Boston event next year?

For more information on the event: http://www.avon39.org/

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Ms. Melanie Nembhard is an Associate Health Scientist with Cardno ChemRisk in the San Francisco, CA office. She earned her MSPH in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also holds two certificates from Johns Hopkins, the Risk Sciences and Public Policy Certificate and the Population and Health Certificate. Ms. Nembhard’s principal areas of training and expertise include industrial hygiene and risk assessment. Since joining Cardno ChemRisk, she has provided litigation support for cases related to asbestos, benzene, butadiene, diacetyl, worker safety, welding, sunscreen, dermal exposures to various chemicals, and inhalation irritants. Additionally, she has participated in baseline exposure assessments at multiple oil refineries regarding occupational and environmental exposures to various chemical and physical agents, including particulates, volatile organic compounds, and noise.