Monday, June 11, 2012

Why do you walk?

My Avon walk Chicago experience is officially in the history books! It was a gorgeous weekend in Chicago. Temperatures did not rise above the 80’s and the breeze off of Lake Michigan kept everything manageable. The support of the community and crew was fantastic, the camaraderie was the best I’ve ever seen and made me proud, once again, to be a participant in such a great cause.

Since finishing, I’ve tried to write this post in my head a million times. Everything I could think of seemed too casual, too flip. Instead, I thought I'd talk about what motivates me to do the walk. The truth is, there are a million reasons why I walk. I walk for the men and women who didn’t beat their cancer, I walk for the people they left behind. I walk for the men and women who DID beat cancer and forge a new legacy with and for their friends and family. I walk for the people newly diagnosed, who pick up the sword and shield and fight like hell to win their battle against cancer. I walk for the people who have yet to be diagnosed, but who will soon join a fraternity of men and women who KNOW what it is to fight cancer. And I walk, so people who don’t know what it’s like to battle, will hopefully never have to witness the battle, will be aware of the battle and will be empathetic to those who are in the middle of the fray.

As we walked Saturday morning, a heated debate broke out behind us. A woman, who raised funds, who raised awareness and who at that very moment was participating in a walk to fight breast cancer, was arguing that the pink ribbon movement, and really all awareness movements, weren’t one size fits all. She could understand why women were angry to be called breast cancer survivors, who saw the pink ribbon movement to be opportunistic and single sighted (money). And just as I was about to turn around and join the heated debate, her companion said (paraphrasing) “this movement is about hope. It’s about hope for the families and hope for the people who are fighting.” And I thought, Amen.

I fundraise so the contributions of my friends and family bring hope to those who are battling. I walk so that those who have gone before me into battle, those that currently battle and those who will battle know that they are not alone. And I pray that my commitment to raise breast cancer awareness inspires others to raise awareness as well. 

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your monetary contributions. Please consider joining me next year in Charlotte, NC. Blisters suck, chemo’s worse…defeating cancer is priceless.

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