New Castle woman to tackle nearly 40 miles in two days at Avon Walk for Breast Cancer |

New Castle woman to tackle nearly 40 miles in two days at Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

NEW CASTLE, Colorado ” It’s Vicki Ruechel’s opinion that you don’t have to be a cancer survivor, or even a friend or family member of one, to be impacted by the disease.

And it’s her opinion that you don’t have to have cancer or be a survivor to help with the cause to find a cure for the disease, either.

“By no means,” Ruechel said. “I have no cancer running in my family.”

But that isn’t stopping her from signing up to walk nearly 40 miles in two days as part of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on June 27-28 in Summit County. Walkers will tread the paths and trails linking the towns of Keystone and Breckenridge, according to the Avon Walk website,

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it,” she said. “But I wanted to do it for a good cause and raise some money.”

Her main goal: Remind people, not just women, to do their breast exams. Secondly, she set a goal to raise $1,800 to help breast cancer research. She’s already halfway to meeting her monetary commitments, having raised $900 so far. With close to two months before the walk she expects, and hopes, to raise much more.

But Ruechel’s story is much more than just raising money for cancer research, it’s about health.

“I guess I just got into this because I lost some weight,” she admitted.

Ruechel credits her 2-year-old grandson Pierce as the reason for that. Ruechel, a 53-year-old grandmother, said that she has lost 95 pounds from pushing Pierce in a Radio Flyer Car around New Castle. Sometimes, the two would travel up to eight miles in one day and she currently weighs 165 pounds.

“He didn’t want to get out of it,” she said. “He’ll sit in it for miles.”

She would walk from her Castle Valley Ranch home and make a two mile loop back to her house. Sometimes, she said that she would walk all the way through downtown and back, which is close to a four-mile trip.

She said that she would also take Pierce and her other grandson, Asher, who’s 7 years old, to the Hot Springs Pool and swim a couple of laps. However, it was mostly the walking that did it.

And with her newfound energy, she discovered that she also had a newfound interest for volunteering, which led her to help out with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Aspen. Through that program she helped out at two local health fairs educating people on how to perform monthly breast exams.

Being in better shape and volunteering she decided to do the walk for a good cause, because it would prove that she could do it and help a good cause all at once.

“It’s time that I got out there and started doing something that I feel strongly about and start volunteering,” Ruechel said.

You don’t have to be a cancer survivor to volunteer.

So for the next two months, Ruechel will continue to walk two to three times a week with Pierce in preparation for the big event.

The 40 miles is a little daunting, but there is no doubt in her mind that she will be able to do it.

“I’m a little worried about it,” she confessed. “Maybe not the first day, but getting up the second day and walking the 13 miles on day two could be a little tough. But I think I can do it. I’m pretty strong willed.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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