One day, I will get back out there and complete another 3-Day walk ... but until that day comes, I've taken a spot along the sidelines cheering the walkers on. Today was the final 20 miles of the 3-Day, 60-mile walk through Washington, D.C. and we were there in full force.
We arrived at the 12-mile marker just as the first walkers were powering past and we remained there for the next four hours while people limped through. The children handed out more than 2,000 pieces of chocolate candy and received an equal number of high-fives, fist-pumps and smiles.
We saw walkers laughing.
We saw walkers crying.
We saw a lot of walkers pull out their cameras and take pictures. And one of the walkers greeted us like a long-lost friend when she said, "These are the triplets that I remember from last year!!" Then she pointed to her wrist and added, "LOOK, I'm still wearing the bracelet you gave me!!"
An NBC news van screeched on their brakes and a camera crew jumped out to film the kids (see the cameraman behind the hydrant?)
The newscaster interviewed me why we were out there and I told him, "We've got a family history of this disease and this is our way of supporting the walkers - supporting the cause - supporting the survivors - and remembering those loved ones that we've lost."
One of the young mothers in my girls' Girl Scout troop was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Just this week, I learned that our mailman's wife was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer three months ago, two days after her 50th birthday. And then there's my own sister and my neighbor's sister and my co-worker and the woman standing behind me in the grocery store with the pink shirt that read, "I'm A Cancer Survivor!" We're out there for them and for countless others, most of whom we'll never meet.
We're out there because there's a healing energy that flows through the crowd that is contagious. We're out there because I want for our children to know how their active participation in a cause greater than themselves, can so positively impact and inspire others.
We're out there because I know how challenging those last few miles are and we want to support the walkers, the heroes who raised over $7 million dollars, get to the finish line. Bite-sized Snickers and pink clad tutu wearing, sparkly hat sporting, fairy wing donning cheering children definitely help.