I am embarking on a great journey this year. I have decided to walk another Breast Cancer 3-Day, 60 mile event. I walked my first 3-Day in 2004, along side my Aunt Bev. It was a challenging event for me, but I did it with Bev's help in both the fundraising and the motivation to keep putting one blistered foot in front of the other. We both finished all 60 miles that year, and I wish I could put into words, the total experience of being a part of that walk. Amazing, incredible, powerful and significant just dont seem to explain what the event is like.
In 2005, I did my second 3-Day, participating as a crew member. My main reason for switching to a crew position was due to the fundraising requirement every walker must reach in order to participate. I couldn't walk away from the charity, but I also couldn't commit to that amount of fundraising after struggling to make my goal the first time. Over the last 6 years, I have participated in 10 events. This year, I will be doing 3. I am crewing in Cleveland and Michigan and walking with a friend in San Diego.
Last year, while I was on the Michigan 3-Day, my grandfather passed away. It was the hardest 3-Day I've ever done. it reminded me of the importance and value in every fundraising dollar raised. He was a victim of a different form of cancer, but I, like many people, feel that if we can find a cure for one cancer it will lead to advancements and cures for all the other forms. When I walked my first 3-Day, I was one of the lucky ones. I knew very few people who had suffered from breast cancer. The people I was aware of were all survivors and thriving. Since that time, I have met many people of all ages, race, and sex-- yes, men do get breast cancer--who have faced this disease. Some of them are survivors, but many of them are still in the middle of their battle, and sadly, some of them have lost their fight. Watching these people and the raw strength and determination they demonstrate while they fight the battle of their life is humbling. Their stories prove how vicious and unrelenting breast cancer can be. I walk for all of them and for all of us. So that the next time one of us finds a suspicious lump we may be a little less terrified. So that I never have to see another young mother wonder if she will get to see her little girl graduate from kindergarten. So that none of us ever loses a best friend, a mother, a sister or anyone else to this horrific disease. I walk because I can't walk away.
I am required to fundraise a minimum of $2,300 to walk in this event. As of today, I have raised over $1,400. I need your help in reaching my goal. I know that money is tight these days and I truly would not ask for your donation if I did not completely believe in the charity it will be supporting. Do you know 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life? That's a pretty startling percentage. That number all but guarantees that each of us will have a close experience with this horrific disease at some point in our life. Do you also know that every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 27 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant. It is stunning that this charity, something that started as a promise made between sisters, has come so far. It reminds us that with enough hard work we are all capable of reaching amazing goals and doing incredible things. Please be a part of this incredible event be donating toward my walk today. To make a donation, go here. If you don't want to donate online, you can download and print a donation form from that page that you can mail in with your donation. You can also call 800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone. If you have someone who you'd like to make your donation in memory of, or in honor of, please let me know and I will carry their name with me through my 60 mile journey.
As extra incentive for your donation, I will dye my hair hot pink shortly after reaching my goal. (Although it will be delayed until after my sister's May wedding if this were to happen quickly). I will keep my pink hair from that time until the end of the San Diego walk in mid November. That could mean half a year as a pink haired church organist! I admit that I'm a little hesitant to make this change, but it will be worth it if it brings in just one more donation. I figure that it will be a great way to strike up conversations about the 3-Day and allow me to raise awareness as I go through my everyday routine and my pre-walk training.
Thank you very much for helping me reach my goal. We can all make a difference and someday we will find a cure and live in a world without breast cancer.