|Jen with her daughters|
Why I Walk
I’ve posted bits and pieces of why I walk in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer every year. Why I skip … hop … walk … trudge … plod 39.3 miles year after year. All those verbs – because on different legs of that journey I have varying levels of energy.
|Her first walk in 2010|
I hadn’t intended to do it after the first year. Until I started the fundraising, and I got so many comments along with my donations.
“Donating in memory of my wife.” I hadn’t known that was how he’d lost his wife.
“Giving in honor of my mom.” I hadn’t known her mom was battling.
I’d mostly thought my world wasn’t touched by breast cancer at all. One of my dearest friends lost her mother-in-law after a several year battle, but that was all I had known. Donation after donation rolled in, with personal story after personal story. These people were friends of mine, and friends of my family. Co workers, and friends of friends, and EVERYONE had a personal reason for giving. And I had no idea.
|Finish line in 2012|
I picked the Avon Walk at first because it was convenient. (As convenient as 39 miles can be. HA!) And because I needed the challenge. I needed to prove to myself that I could push to the limit and see the reward of the finish line. Along the way, I found that it does exactly what we need. It reaches out to inner city families. To folks who could not otherwise get the care they so desperately need. To women who need help with meals – with creating normal for their families as they fight to live another day.
|At the 2013 walk|
5 years later, spite is long gone. I’m emotionally recovered from the need to walk for reasons of self healing. I am thankful for grace that has allowed me to begin again. I am still walking – we’re at 156 official miles logged and counting. I now walk for all the women who are fighting every day. My aunt. My classmate. My friend’s mom. My friend. I hardly feel old enough to say “my friend has breast cancer”. But that’s reality. I am 37 and my friend is battling. The more years I walk, the more people I know that are impacted. I walk to reverse the trend. So that as the years go by, I know fewer people who have breast cancer turning their lives upside down.
here and here. And to read the journey of the 2013 walk, including the 248,000 PB&J graham cracker sandwiches, you can see that here.