Monday, May 07, 2007

2007 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Although this deviates from my normal stitching-related posts, it ends a very busy chapter in my annual commitments which now frees my time to get back to stitching - so here goes:

3,000 Walkers + $7.4 million = One Great Weekend!!!

I survived the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this past weekend. One of the best ones yet. D.C. broke its record for the most participants & the highest dollars earned since the beginning of the event. This is my 5th year participating – each of which I say is my last – but truthfully, it’s probably not. At this stage of life, I am so blessed and it feels good to be part of something bigger than myself, and that I’m helping someone, somewhere, get the treatment they need & maybe can’t afford. If that means I have to walk a little gingerly for a few days & soak my feet a little more often – so be it. I say THANK YOU to everybody who supported me financially, emotionally, spiritually or otherwise. A special thanks to Bill, who’s always there to pick me up from the finish line when I don’t think I can take another step - and my girls, Jaimee and Janelle, who always check on their mom & promise that next year is the year they’ll join me (I’m still waiting)……..

The Saturday morning journey began at 6:30 a.m. at the Kennedy Center with emotional speeches from survivors. Once the show of hands begins from survivors; then family & friends who have been affected; and finally those who just want to see a cure – there is a joining of hands in solidarity………. They have you hooked for the entire 39 miles cause you can feel why you’re there! The first year I participated, the biggest show of hands was for a cure – now the biggest show of hands is from family & friends that have been affected.

Saturday’s 26-mile walk took us through Arlington, Georgetown, Embassy Row, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and ended in Silver Spring. For those of you from this area, that included the dreaded hill up to Sibley Hospital (somebody’s idea of a joke I’m sure). The rain held off until we were into mile 23 which was great because by then your feet are tired & your muscles are so sore you don’t notice a bit of rain (lol). Those last 3 miles of Day 1 are always the hardest for me so I tend to slip into my zone. That’s so I don’t hear all those folks at the cheering stations who have good intentions by saying “Just a little further” or “Right around the corner” when you really have miles more to walk. My tentmate arrived in camp before I did so the tent was already up - wahoo. After a hot shower, hot cocoa, green chili enchiladas (you don’t even wanna know), and a final rubdown with Icy Hot - I was tucked into the sleeping bag by 8 p.m. Slept like a baby until around 6 a.m. when I heard other campers rambling around. Wish I had stock in that Icy Hot cause after layering up for the chilly morning weather, I started out strong on Sunday. With only 13 miles to go, we headed back into D.C. via the Sligo Creek trail, Piney Branch Road and 16th Street. Once the sun came out & the day heated up, we were doing a walking strip tease. The cheering stations ranged from Girl Scout troops, to sorority sisters (Delta Gamma Rho – I think), to oncology nurses and included residents from an assisted living facility who passed out pink scarves. Food & Friends provided lunch on Day 2 and also had groups along the route passing out fresh-baked chocolate chip & sugar cookies. Very inspiring! The final block before the Kennedy Center was lined on both sides with cheering family, friends, volunteers, & crew.


Vonna said...

These type of walks mean so much to research dollars, but also for families and survivors. I participated in one when my aunt was in remission, it was a very touching day :)

clee2830 said...

Deb, I'm so inspired by you! I'm fortunate to be able to say I know someone so caring and giving.

Thanks to you and those that walk and raise money, we are having more and more surviors of the disease.

Way to go!

Deborah said...

Just dropped by to say, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

Tom said...

We participated the Avon Walk against Breast Cancer here in the Philippines.