My mom walked her first 60 miles over a decade ago when she lost her best friend, Kathy, to breast cancer. At the time it was called the Avon 3-Day, now it’s called the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, but the spirit of the walk hasn’t changed a bit. These walkers are “In it to end it” every (literal) step of the way.
She was reluctant to raise money the first year, but believed in the cause with all her heart. Many of her donors had been directly affected by breast cancer and she had the names of all of the women she walked in honor or in memory of printed on her shirt. This year she continued the tradition by writing each name on the most unique “CURE” sign I have ever seen. It was a huge hit with everyone who saw her– and it was hard not to see her as she carried that sign high above the crowds.
Now 11 years later, watching her cross that finish line again- I have never been more proud. Our family has been so deeply affected by cancer over the last couple of years, and there is something so beautiful and so unifying about walking surrounded by others whose lives have been changed by the same terrible disease. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful, strong, brave men and women who walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in St. Petersburg, FL this year. They bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I love you, Mom.
During the closing ceremonies all of the walkers, crew and volunteers took a knee and raised a shoe as the Survivors took the stage. It was the most fitting and beautiful salute: “Every step we took, we took for you.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd at the time (and if there was there hearts are made of stone- I tell you!) I have tears rolling down my face even as I remember that moment.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.