Health and Fitness Column

Texas woman uses Xbox for walk to North Carolina

By John Taylor | Oct 22, 2013
Photo by: File John Taylor

Chanelle Mendoza of Killeen, Texas is training to walk 1,047 miles to honor those who are battling cancer, a cause near and dear to her heart.
On Oct. 29, Mendoza, 28, will begin her journey from Texarkana, Texas  to Mooresville, North Carolina to raise money for her father’s rising medical bills through the nonprofit “Pink Heals” organization.
Chanelle’s father, Carey Pierce, has been battling prostate cancer for more than 10 years.
“My dad has this saying: ‘Believe in yourself, trust in yourself and have faith in yourself,’” Mendoza told the Killeen Daily Herald. “So this is something I can do to make him proud and raise money for other people as well.”
Pierce moved to Mooresville in 2012 to be close to family when his health started to decline.
“He just thinks that we’re coming home for Thanksgiving, so he’s really going to be surprised,” Mendoza said.
Her sister, Nicole Pierce, will travel with Mendoza, and will bring food and medical supplies and provide first aid if needed.
Pierce said she admires Mendoza’s courage, and is honored to be part of it all.
“Years ago I was thinking there was nothing I could do, and now here’s Chanelle saying there is something I can do not only for my family but also for my community,” Nicole Pierce stated. “That’s the attitude of trailblazers: people who say that one person can make a difference.”
However, Mendoza’s training methods to improve her fitness levels to complete this journey can be called usual.
To prepare for the walk, Mendoza is relying only on Xbox fitness programs, focusing on core exercises, yoga and cross training, and daily 4- to 9-mile walks. She also limits her diet to 2,000 calories per day.
Since she began training six weeks ago, Mendoza has lost more than 20 pounds and says she is in the best shape and her life.
Mendoza’s efforts have raised $300, which is a long way from her $5,000 goal. She also needs donations to help with supplies, lodging and gear.
But Mendoza admits she is less motivated by the money, and paying tribute to cancer victims is her primary motivation.
“It’s not one of those things where I have to have this money in order to do it. I’m going to do it regardless because it’s for a more personal reason,” Mendoza said. “This is for me and for my dad, but it’s also to raise awareness. People tend to focus on breast cancer and disregard the others,” referring to her father’s prostate cancer diagnosis, a disease that often doesn’t receive the same media attention as breast cancer, yet has more diagnosed cases each year.
Using Google Maps, Mendoza chose a route that will take her from Texas to Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and finally North Carolina, with check points along the way for food and rest.
Her goal is to complete 30 to 60 miles each day in 24 days, walking from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mendoza will document her journey through regular video blogs on YouTube, hoping it will generate more public support and subsequent donations.
“I’m very nervous and I think it’s going to be a mental push, but my dad is that important to me,” Mendoza said.
To make a donation to Chanelle Mendoza’s walk, go to her donation page at