Friday, March 1, 2013

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN'

Jennifer, Julie & Me - Fall 2003

You might have heard about the Weekend to End Breast Cancer which is a 60 kms walk held in various cities in Canada.  I think there is a similar walk in the U.S. as well.  In 2006 I had planned to join my friend Julie to do the walk in support of our friend Jennifer who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early thirties.  I had felt this strong need to do something for Jennifer to show my support.  I had checked out the website in the spring and had planned to sign up later.  I thought I had lots of time to do so since I knew the walk was not until the Labour Day weekend in September.  However, when I went back on the website to register a few weeks later I discovered that there were no spaces left and the registration was closed.  That really sucked but there was nothing I could do about it.

In an ironic twist of fate, shortly after that I found out that I too had breast cancer.  Now here I was having chemo treatments starting the very weekend of the walk I had planned to be in!  How weird is that?  My friend Julie did the walk and I was so proud of her that she raised the required amount of money and really worked hard to do it.  So many people give so much of their time and energy in support of breast cancer research and it is really inspiring.  Julie sent me a message after the weekend walk and she really made me feel like I was right there with her.  I was so happy for her that she was able to experience the many aspects of this incredible journey.  The fact that she included Jennifer and me in her purpose and her thoughts was very touching.

Walking Path - Ottawa, Ontario
With her permission, I would like to share part of Julie’s message with you.

 “ I have been asked by everyone "how was the weekend?" and if I could sum it up with one word, I would say OVERWHELMING.  It was incredible.  It was inspiring, it was sad, it was hopeful and it was courageous.  It was an emotional overload and I don't think my eyes were dry all weekend but it was amazing.  The walkers shared stories of past events and personal reasons for doing the walk.  When I was asked why I was doing it, I gave some thought to my own personal reasons and wanted to share them with you and will also share them with all my supporters when I send a thank you email to everyone tonight.

I walked so that Jenn will never have to see another oncologist other than to get thumbs up that she's healthy and cancer-free.  I walked so that you will be in Jenn's position a year from now and will have a very long and healthy life with your children and with Mike.  I walked for all the women in my life who will hopefully never find a lump.  I walked for my daughter’s future and the future of all the women she will come to know in her lifetime.  But most of all, I walked because I could.  Because I am healthy and able and incredibly fortunate for everything I have.”

Thank you to everyone everywhere that has participated in walks, runs, bike rides, motorcycle rallies and a great many other events that raise funds and awareness for various cancers.  I am so very grateful.

These Boots Are Made For Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra



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