My Unfiltered Thoughts About the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk - Shaolin Edition (Staten Island)
I walked and raised money for my first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and I had some feedback about the event and then I had second thoughts about my feedback...
The best part about this walk was seeing my kids' faces when I posed for this photo:
Can you find me? It is kind of like a Where's Waldo picture - we are almost all wearing pink - I have the pink knitted headband on that was given to me from the UFT Ladies who knit - as a survivor, I got to pick one thing for free and it was so chilly, that was my pick.
All of those ladies in this picture are breast cancer survivors. I put myself right in that photo and when the photo was done, my son was standing to the side looking on in awe - he could not believe how many women were there and seeing them all there, vibrant and alive put a tiny bit of his fear to rest. My daughter also loved seeing it but she was surrounded by her girlfriends and was too busy to show it (I think). No one wants to bring 2nd grade children to a wide open space but the 5th grade girls were out in force for my girl.
I am not even one year post diagnosis yet but I was there with bells on - at the kick off meeting, the event organizers highlighted the pacesetters (those who raise $2500 or more) tryin-to-be-a-survivor-at-the-making-strides-breast-cancer-kick-off-breakfast.html and I knew right there that I wanted to be a pacesetter more than anything - but I also knew it would be really hard for me to raise that kind of money as I am not working full time and I do not know rich people.
Of course, I was wrong about not being able to raise that kind of money as you can see by my personal fundraising stats below (and add another $100 to that amount as there was a recent matching done by an anonymous donor).
The walk was powerful and touching. Not only did people who I have not spoken to or see in decades donated so much money to my fundraising but my mom's bank, Victory State Bank, supported my walk and sold those little postcards for $1 all for my team. Over $1900 came from Victory State Bank and their generous customers.
I finally went back on Facebook in September and got a huge amount of donations from my Facebook peeps fear-and-loathing-on-facebook.html and it reiterated for me how lucky and loved I am.
Nothing though could prepare me for the amount of people who showed up to walk with me -
Even one of my college students from years & years ago (2014, I think)
At first, post walk, I thought about how much more powerful it could have been to highlight those pacesetters in a large setting - or the top 10 teams (I was number 7). But now, I am ashamed of my unfiltered thoughts. I was proud to be there, proud to do my part and really really happy to see the other survivors, my friends and family and everyone rally around for a cause that is now so near and dear to me - and I am ashamed that I was not out there walking every year even before I was diagnosed and deep down I am ready already to smash this fundraising amount for next year - to do it all again and not for recognition, not for fame - screw it, I just want to help those who are going through this beast and to let them know I am here for them. I am not in it for anything else -if you know someone going through breast cancer or if it is you, find me - I am here at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you are ready to talk, I am here at 3477339211. No one should feel alone during this crap of a plot twist - as you can see, I never was alone but I felt it anyway (as I share about on this blog). Having someone who has been through it is one of the best ways to feel "normal". When I was one boobed (still am) AND bald (not anymore), even having my girls around me did not always feel like support because I was envying their hair - oh my goodness, the hair envy is real.
So I am here and I get it... and I will be there next October, walking and smiling like I did this year and I will not fall for the silliness of pride and promotion.
That is what I do in the time between.
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