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Why I walk.

May 24, 2009

3day_ambassador_badgeI’ve never regretted signing up to walk in the 3-day. Not for a moment last year and not at all this year. (Well, maybe at mile 57, but that was just a passing thought.) 🙂 However, that doesn’t mean that I am always totally excited to walk. Life happens between monumental mountaintop Breast Cancer 3-day experiences.

I walk for a variety of reasons. I walk because 30 years ago my grandmother died because there were not adequate treatments for breast cancer. I walk for the handful of dear friends who have lost their battle with breast cancer. I walk because I do not want to live in a world where 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States alone. I do not want my future children’s lives to be ripped apart because of breast cancer.

Occasionally my mundane life will be interrupted by a monumental breast cancer experience that reminds me why I walk. Several months ago I saw a woman driving a car with 3-day window clings and a breast cancer survivor license plate holder. Just driving to school, suddenly my eyes are filled with tears and I am reminded why I get up early to train. This weekend I had a very emotional experience that reminded me why I’m raising, training, and taking time off of work to walk.

Let me back up for a minute. Jarrod has a Blockbuster subscription that allows us to rent one movie at a time, but as often as we want. We love lazy weekends because we can watch at least two movies. We take turns because we can never agree on movies. He picks one and then I pick one. I picked Living Proof because it wasn’t a romantic comedy, stars Harry Connick, Jr. and I thought Jarrod and I would both like it. I knew it was about breast cancer research and I knew it was based on a true story, but had no idea that I would be sobbing like a baby through the entire thing.

The movie is about a doctor who devotes his life to creating, testing, and getting FDA approved, a drug for the treatment of cancer that treats tumors without the horrible side-effects of chemo. He fought for women who couldn’t fight for themselves. The movie followed the lives of several women, some survived and some did not, but all were heroic, strong, and pioneers in the treatment of cancer. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it.

I literally cried through the whole movie. But I’m a crier. Usually Jarrod can calm me down with jokes and reminding me that it’s just a movie. Last night he just held me while I cried. This is why I walk. Because it is NOT just a movie. This is real life. Everyday women (and men) are throwing up because of chemo. Everyday women are going to Mexico to spend time with family because there is no more treatment for them. I remember that I walk for those women, but I’m also walking for the doctors and researchers who are devoting their lives to finding a cure for breast cancer. They need funding to continue their work. While $5 seems like a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of finding a cure for cancer, think about what would happen if everyone donated $5. Or if everyone just donated what they can.

Finding a cure for cancer means community, coming together, and giving everything we can. Community was a consistent theme in the movie, which I appreciated because community is such a huge part of the Breast Cancer 3-day. Walking 60 miles in 3 days is the least I can do. Raising $2,300 is the least I can do. Taking time off of work, getting up early, training, buying expensive shoes, etc. It’s the least I can do. $2,300 is cheaper than expensive treatments that may or may not work. I am so blessed to be healthy. I am capable of walking, so I will walk.

If you need a monumental breast cancer experience to remind you why you are dedicating so much of your life to 3 days, rent Living Proof. The movie is decent, but I’m not necessarily just advocating for the movie. If you need a reminder of why you walk, find one. If you can’t walk, donate.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2009 4:05 pm

    No way! I just mentioned “Living Proof” in my blog too about a week ago, the “power walk pink” entry. 3-Dayers think alike! 🙂

  2. Pamela McGuire permalink
    May 27, 2009 8:31 am

    You are so correct. I just had a breast biopsy that will cost me, you, the world over 1500.00. With a “non-diagnosis” who knows what the next biopsy in the hospital will cost? So, that $5.00 is nothing!

    AGain your story is so warming and precious because it describes my own experience in 2006, 2007, and 2008 as I hit the pavement to walk the 3-day in Dallas/Ft Worth.

    On the sidewalk , as 3500 of us walked, a small family held out boxes of donuts to encourage us . They surrounded a lovely lady, bald, and frail, but fighting the good fight to overcome and survive breast cancer. The tears flowed on both sides from them and us! I have chills even now!

    This year, I stand on the sidelines cheering and encouraging those who do , while I wait to hear my own results. I’ll be there this year in Dallas/FT Worth! I may be on the sidelines but I’ll be there!.

    Walker and Stalker – Walker! 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009!


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