Save the date! The 9th Annual Join the Journey 10-Mile Walk is scheduled for Sunday, September 15, 2013!  Read more...

Join the Journey Newsletter

Fall 2013

President's Thoughts

Greetings to all,

Wow! Where has the summer gone?  It is my hope that all of you have been able to enjoy the glorious weather and the long hours of daylight.  It has been a busy but fun time for everyone involved with Join the Journey.  All of our many volunteers were quite active in the community at several events promoting breast cancer awareness.  Join the Journey was present at the Rochesterfest and Chatfield parades, a Honkers baseball game, and Artigras to name a few events.  Every Wednesday night the Making Waves team was out paddling in their big dragonboat, Waves of Hope.  They were featured recently on KTTC in a nicely done video news clip; perhaps you have seen the shorter spots which are still running on TV.  Paddling will continue until September 15. When you participate in our annual Walk, be sure to stop at the dock to try dragonboat paddling.

With fall approaching all of us are gearing up for the events of the next season.  The biggest and most grand event is the Ninth Annual Join the Journey Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on Sunday, September 15th.  This is our major fundraising event that generates all the funds that support our many programs such as Pink Ribbon Mentorship, Making Waves, Chemo Care, Book Program, Moonlight Pillows, and Support Group.  All of the money raised stays here in the local area and goes directly to these awesome programs. 

Please visit our website, to register for the Walk.  Gather your friends and family to walk together as a team.  The day starts at Mayo High School, the Walk goes down to Silver Lake with entertainment along the way, concluding back at Mayo High School.  Catering by Design serves a very tasty lunch to all walkers with more great entertainment provided by Booker Mini.  The Walk Chair, Kay Frick, along with the Walk Steering Committee and Crew Chiefs, have planned a terrific event that you will want to be a part of. Come and enjoy!

The activities don’t stop with the Walk. Look for us and join the fun at these future events: Bras for a Cause, Andy’s Liquor Pink Month, Rochester Ice Hawks Pink the Rink, Cumulus Women’s Expo, and the International Dance Studio Winter Workouts.  Be sure to check the Join the Join website for dates, times, and locations. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who spend countless hours and give of their expertise and talents to make Join the Journey the successful organization that it is.  A huge thank you and hugs to the Board of Directors, program directors and their volunteers, the volunteers at the Gonda Building, all those involved with the Walk, the office staff, and our Executive Director.  Also, we very much appreciate all our donors and supporters, without whom our work would not be possible.  Join the Journey is hugely grateful to all of you.

Enjoy a terrific fall season.  Hope to see you at the Walk on September 15th and at the other upcoming activities.  Thank you again for a wonderful year!

With warm regards,
Kathy Williamson, President


2013 Join the Journey Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk- Sunday September 15 at 9am

WE NEED YOU!!  Join us Sunday September 15 at 9am at Mayo High School for our Ninth Annual 10 mile Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.  We have many new surprises for you this year and lots of previous favorites.  Catering By Design will be providing an incredible lunch again this year.  We will have music by the Booker Mini Band.  Our walk chairs, Kay Frick and Elynn Welle have been working tirelessly with their committee to bring you the best walk ever.  You can register on our web site at or by calling the office at 507-206-3212.  Remember to pick up your t-shirts early on Saturday, September 14 from 9-12 at Mayo High School (Door 6)- that way you don't have to wait in line on Sunday morning before the festivities!

Kelly Kay and the TaTas



Pink Ribbon Mentors (PRMs) have the privilege of giving an Essentials Gift Bag to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. The gift bag helps to ease their stress and brings a smile to their faces. It lets them know that we care and are here to support them on their journey. They are not alone! The bags are distributed as we visit with patients on Gonda 10 in Chemo Therapy or at the Breast Clinic on Gonda 2.

What’s in the Essentials Gift Bag? The bag contains several items that bring comfort and hope. This colorful gift bag contains our PRM brochure (which contains our phone number) and a journal with a pink pen for recording their thoughts, feelings and questions. A DVD is included: “Living in the Moment” from Mayo Clinic or “Voice of Hope: Family and Friends” by the Hastings, MN Breast Cancer Support Group. Vanicream for skin care and hand sanitizers are also provided. And what could be more comforting than a soft pair of colorful socks and head wrap to keep you warm. The Crystal Deodorant is always appreciated as it has no aluminum chlorohydrate. A gift card to HyVee or Kwik Trip is provided to offset the financial burden of cancer and help with prescriptions, groceries or gas. Beautiful hand made jewelry can also be found in the bag. It might be a bracelet or necklace made by a Pink Ribbon Mentor or donated by a grateful patient or supporter.

Children of breast cancer patients are not forgotten as we provide a gift bag to them as they wait patiently for their loved one to receive treatment. Their gift bag includes a color book, crayons, paints, a finger puppet, fruit snack, and a green frog! A gift bag that includes a sweet treat always brings a big smile to their faces.

All of these wonderful gifts are provided by Join the Journey through donations from grateful patients and supporters. Your donations to Join the Journey stay right here in our community to support women and men on their breast cancer journey. As a Pink Ribbon Mentor, it is very heart warming to give a gift bag to a breast cancer patient or child and receive the warmth of their gratitude, a big smile and “thank you” in return.

I invite you to continue to support Join the Journey and continue the work of the Pink Ribbon Mentors and their other programs by joining us on Sunday, September 15 at Mayo High School for our 9th Annual Breast Cancer Walk. Your generous support can make miracles happen!
Marilyn Kocer


Making Waves

A floating support group is about paddling and more….Making Waves, a floating support group, is a group of local breast cancer survivors and supporters who stay ACTIVE PHYSICALLY AND SOCIALLY throughout the year.

This summer has been a busy one for our Making Waves team and we are not yet finished.  Our group has spent much time together in and around our dragon boat WAVES OF HOPE living the motto “Friendship through Paddling”. Perhaps you saw us in the Rochesterfest Parade in June, or on the local news KTTC   (website). You may also have seen us on Silver Lake most Wednesday evenings developing camaraderie and practicing teamwork as we paddle dragon boat.  We spread the message that “life is to be lived and enjoyed – even after a breast cancer diagnosis” as we walked in the Chatfield Western Days parade in August. This group doesn’t “let cancer hold us back“ as we travelled as a team to Lacrosse WI, Ft. Dodge IA and Dubuque to participate with other BC teams in dragon boat heats and festivities. While we supported these festivals with our participation, we “felt the Love and Support” come back to us tenfold in the Breast Cancer Ceremony when 20+teams of paddlers, men, woman, teens and onlookers stopped everything to HONOR the breast cancer survivors on the water and those who are no longer physically with us but always with us in spirit.  It was a powerful and moving experience for all.

Looking forward, we hope to see you on Walk Day Sept. 15. The dragon boat Waves of Hope will be on Silver Lake and we invite you to take a lap ON the lake in lieu of one of the laps AROUND the lake on that day.  We welcome your participation in all upcoming social eventsand look forward to continuing our active lifestyle with Winter Work-outs starting in October. Contact to take part or for more information.

Submitted by,
Sheila Kramer

Physical Activity and Survival After Breast Cancer

With the upcoming Join the Journey Walk, I wanted to report research in the medical literature that supports physical activity.


Questionnaire responses were assessed from 2987 females, a subset of the 121,000 women who had been followed in the Nurses Health Study since 1974. The nurses across the United States were sent questionnaires every two years, asking questions about their health, lifestyle, cardiovascular risk and cancer. 
This subset had been diagnosed with Stage I, II or III breast cancer between 1984 and 1998.  The year 1984 was used because that’s when the questionnaires incorporated questions about physical activity.


The researchers were trying to determine if physical activity among women who had been diagnosed with cancer improved survival compared to sedentary women.


The researchers determined that physical activity may reduce risk of death from breast cancer.  Specifically, benefit was noted with walking between 3-5 hours per week.  Additional hours of activity didn’t seem to add to the baseline benefit of walking.


Getting out and walking is greatly beneficial.  An expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization has estimated a 20-40% reduction of breast cancer in physically active women.  Physically active women have lower levels of estrogen, which is thought to be one of the reasons for lower risk of developing breast cancer.

So, ladies, gentlemen, kids and pets, get out and WALK!

Janet  Vittone, MD






 Forward to a friend

   -Kathy Williamson
Vice President
  -Rochelle Befort
  -Jeremy Borell/ Cyndie Kahn
  -Diane Trisko

-Cindy Benike
-Rochelle Befort
-Lori Denison
-Mary Hurt
-Connie Lexvold
-Linda Miller
-Karen Fryer
-Jan Schmidt
-Heather Stockmo
-Anne Mehnke
-Janet Vittone
-Ellen Cascino

Executive Director:
  -Terri Allred
Office Manager:
  -Cheryl Blouin
Office Assistant:
  -Gail Storing



Join the Journey



October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Join us for our special activities!

Bras for a Cause
Sponsored by Rochester Motor Cars, 102.5 The Fox and Cumulus Radio, and Lesmeister Balloons

It’s Time to Take ‘em off and hang ‘em high! Bras for a Cause.

Donate your gently used bras and Rochester Motor Cars will donate $2 to Join the Journey for each one collected!

Then on Saturday October 5th  you can see them fly high over the sky from a Lesmeister Hot Air Balloon.

Join us at Rochester Toyota on Saturday Oct 5th to watch 'em fly high from the sky. There will be food and refreshments too. You can look for the bras to launch late in the afternoon between 2:30 and 5:30.

Drop off your bras in Rochester at Rochester Toyota, Rochester Mazda, Rochester Ford, Quick Lane, Rochester Service on Second, Rochester Clearance Center, Whistle Binkies north and south, City Looks Salon,  Ashley Furniture, Family Tree Landscape and Nursery, Size it up Consignment Shop, Pine Needles Quilt and Sew, Rochester International Dance Studio, Silhouette Shop at their new location, Coyote Creek and in St Charles at Aspasia Salon, and finally, in Winona at The Elks Club.

Turn the Ice Pink with the Ice Hawks

Pink the Rink with the Ice Hawks!  Join us on October 18 at 7pm  for an evening of celebration and fundraiser for Join the Journey.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.  When you purchase your tickets, let them know you are with Join the Journey so that we can all sit together.  We will have a puck drop by JTJ, a raffle for a gift certificate from Four Daughters Winery, announcements honoring breast cancer survivors during the game and much more.  We can't wait!

Purchase Pink in October with Andy's Liquor

In October, visit any Andy's Liquor to purchase pink wines and spirits.  Part of your purchase price will go DIRECTLY to Join the Journey.  In addition, be on the look out for new
re-usable Andy's Liquor wine bags that will also benefit JTJ.
Winter Work Out to Begin in September

Join us again this year at Rochester International Dance Studio/ Fred Astaire Dance Studio for Winter Work Out.  We will be meeting every Wednesday beginning September 25 at 6pm for a free workout for all survivors and supporters.  For more information and to find an updated schedule, visit or

We are still in need of dance instructors, physical ed teachers, zumba instructors, yoga instructors and other fitness professionals to assist with Winter Work Out this year.  If you have one or two Wednesdays to spare this winter, please contact Terri at 507-206-3212.

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Our mailing address is:
1530 Greenview Drive SW Suite 212
Rochester, MN 55902
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