A two-day, 39.3 mile walk for Breast Cancer
It’s a stifling, one hundred degrees. My legs are jello, I have huge blisters on my feet, and sweat is pouring off my forehead. Mile twenty-five. I can’t possibly go another step. An older lady suddenly plugs along right past me. The back of her shirt says “two-time breast cancer survivor,” I remind myself of why I am walking forty miles in the dead of summer. Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. A close family friend recently died of this treacherous disease; I’m not only walking for this woman, but for the thousands of others who have lived with this terrible disease. My mom and I wore shirts are filled with names written in permanent marker from the people who donated to our cause and who have breast cancer.
To participate in the Avon Walk for breast cancer, I had to raise 1,800 dollars. I thought it would be easy; after all, who wouldn't want to help? Wow, was I wrong. I asked everyone I knew through emails and letters. In desperation, I went door-to-door but still only received around three hundred dollars I was devastated and extremely disappointed. “Your money is for a great cause,” I’d say. Even after standing at King Soopers for hours on end, I only made another 150 dollars. I thought people in our society would be much more generous. I seemed to be discovering that, to give, people wish to receive. When I fundraise with chocolate, cookie dough or “butter braids”, everyone seems to want to support, because they are getting something out of it.
At Horizon, our National Honor Society holds an annual Dodgeball tournament, from which we donate the proceeds to some sort of charity each year. As a member, I made a speech about my walk for Breast cancer and though at this point had doubts; I asked the society if they would be willing to donate the proceeds from the Dodge ball tournament to my walk. After a very nerve-wracking speech, all sixty members raised their hands to support me. Such a relief! The Dodgeball tournament had a great turnout and a whole 1,800 dollars was donated to my walk. I was ecstatic! I finally could relax about being able to walk and start training.
The second day of the walk was thirteen miles. Those thirteen miles were the hardest of the whole walk. After visiting the medical tent on the way, and having the huge blisters on my feet popper, I limped along to finish the race. Everywhere I looked, walkers with bandages on their feet and ice packs taped were limping or dragging, but still walking to finish the race. Hundreds of smiling people were cheering us on as we crossed the finish line. Honestly, crossing the finish line wasn't as glorious as I thought. I didn't think, "yes! I've helped cure breast cancer!" I thought I was going to feel wonderful crossing the finish line, like I accomplished my ultimate goal, coming one step closer to saving the world. But, all I wanted to do was sit down and rest my legs. I had road rash all over and my ankles were elephants. After the race my mom and I, and the rest of the finished walkers stood by the finish line and cheered on all of the walkers coming by. Some were still limping, but totally glowing inside and out. Once everyone had finished, all the walkers held hands. It was an amazing sight. Over 600 women standing together, a sea of pink t-shirts. There was crying, laughter and relief.