Avon Walk – Take Two

When I signed up to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this past July I had it in the back of my head that it would be a one-time thing; a goal to accomplish, an in-your-face to cancer.  The plan was simple:  I would drag my over-wight survivor butt up and down the hills of San Francisco with some high school girlfriends, reconnect a little, maybe lose some weight and enjoy a few photo-ops along the way.  Well, I did that all right!

I didn’t anticipate the feeling of accomplishment that participating in the Walk would bring me.  I didn’t expect to be part of a $5.5 million dollar donation for under and uninsured women to receive treatment!  I certainly didn’t foresee forging a bond with my teammates (and our own personal roadie!) that would extend way beyond the Walk into our wildly different personal lives. 

Participating in an event of this sort is physically comparable to a cancer patient’s treatment.  The similarities were startling.  Over those two days last year I relived my own cancer story.  I began the Avon Walk just as I did chemotherapy, cautious but positive I would make it to the finish line.  I trusted my training and I trusted my body to take me where I needed to go.  I knew I could depend on myself. 

I began strong but somewhere after the half-way point the road became much more difficult.  Doubts began to creep in.  Maybe I’d overestimated my capabilities?  What was I thinking?  The last 6 miles of day one were all uphill.  San Francisco hills!  Just to raise my eyes to the road ahead physically stopped me in my tracks.  It was too much to contemplate.  Yet quitting was not an option.  Too many people were depending on me – watching me.  I simply bowed my head and put one foot in front of the other, mumbling prayers and complaints with every other step.  It’s the same way I made it through treatment. 

By the end of day two my feet and knees had failed me.  My spirit was broken.  I kept going out of sheer stubbornness and the support of my team.  I was surprised to be re-learning the same life lesson from chemo – no one can do it alone; we all need help and support.  As I crossed the finish line on Sunday afternoon I was overcome with emotions.  I had once again pushed my body past its level of endurance and SURVIVED!  At that moment I felt that I could do anything!  And I CAN!

But I can’t do it without your help!  Though I’m required to raise at least $1800 in donations, I hope to raise much more with your support!  Last year your contributions and my walking raised $2400!!!  All donations, large or small can and will make all the difference in this fight!  I may make the difference for me or you or someone you love. 

You can make a donation to my fundraising campaign by clicking HERE.  If you would prefer to write a check, contact me and I’ll send you the information form. 

Let’s pool our resources and stop breast cancer today!  I am IN IT TO END IT!  Are you with me?

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3 Responses

  1. Can’t wait for next year – it was an honor to walk with you. Love those wildly different personal lives we share… 🙂

  2. I just found your blog. As a fellow cancer survivor, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Also…Great Blog! You are a credit to the cancer blogging community. I have added you to my blogroll, “Cancer Blogs Lists” with over 1200 other personal cancer blogs at http://www.beingcancer.net, a cancer networking site featuring a cancer book club, guest blogs, cancer resources, reviews and more.
    If you have not visited before or recently, please stop by. If you agree that the site is a worthwhile resource for those affected by cancer, please consider adding Being Cancer Network to your own blogroll.
    Now that you are listed, you can expect to gain a wider audience for your thoughts and experiences. Being Cancer Network is a place to share and communicate.

    Take care, Dennis (beingcancer@att.net)

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