Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Talk To Me Tuesday (Anna Matlock)

I have another interview, this time from Anna Matlock, a new walker, doing her first walk in Tampa in October! Anna, unfortunately, is all too familiar with cancer, as she has lost 3 people to it. Her
uncle died of leukemia, her father of lung cancer, and most recently, she is battling with the loss of her sweet 32 year old sister who passed away from sarcoma this past December.

Here is Anna with Tampa's Dusty Showers
(Don't worry, he's on my list!)

Q1: Why did you decide to join the 3 day?

Anna says:
In short, I joined the 3 day because I found out the last day of the Tampa event was the same as my sister's wedding anniversary, and I needed something in my life to help me move forward.

And from Anna's blog, Little Mavericks...
I do not remember how I found out the actual date of the event in 2009. But there it was, the last day, November 1. Screaming at me. The last day of the walk in 2009 was my sister’s wedding anniversary. But, not only was the walk on her anniversary, she lived in Tampa for many years.

So there I stood, at a fork in the road, waiting, in limbo. When suddenly, fate dropped this gem in my lap. I knew it was a sign. Some higher power was at work, telling me that the path forward was right there staring me in the face. I could not walk away this time.

Many people do not understand my motive. “Your sister had sarcoma not breast cancer, why are you walking for breast cancer?” Cancer is cancer folks. It sucks, it hurts, it kills, and it takes families and rips them down. If by raising $2300 and walking 60 miles would save one single family from this fate, it would be worth it. This is not to say that facing this road did not scare the holy hell out of me. My initial thought was "I will never be able to raise that much money". I will never be able to walk 60 miles. But one baby step at a time I am traveling that road. Sometimes faltering, and even falling. But at each stumble and step I know my sister is right there beside me, doing what a big sister does best. She has given me courage, determination, and most of all hope. It is no surprise that her middle name is Hope. I have raised above and beyond the minimum, and though a few months ago walking 3 miles seemed impossible, I am now walking 7 miles back to back two days a week.

I walk because it eases my pain. I walk because it brings me closer to what I have left of my sister. I walk because I hate cancer. I walk, because standing there in limbo for the rest of my life is not an option. We must all move forward at some point in our lives, and if we really listen, and look closely we will discover what it is that is nudging us every so gently forward.

Anna and her team captain got these tattoos together

Q2: Why would you recommend the 3 day to others?

Anna says:
It will change your life! in more ways than you will ever know!

And more from her blog...
I met an amazing team captain, which could very well be my long lost twin. She graciously changed our team name to Walking for Hope. That small simple gesture was one I cannot thank her enough for, or ever show her just how much it meant to me. Where my sister has given me silent support, Michele has held my hand, and kept me motivated, when I was ready to quit. She has praised me, and encouraged me. In only a few weeks she became the best friend I have ever had. I could never repay her for all the light she has brought into the darkness that my life became when I lost my sister. She has taken up some of that empty space left in my heart when my sister left. Of course there will always be a hole where she was, but Michele has filled some of that gap quite nicely.

Q3: What has been your best contribution to the cause?

Anna says:
I feel that I have been the one who benefited from this. My team and I are still fundraising and donating to other walkers who are coming up short, as well.

Thank you, Anna!
To hear more about Anna's journey (and read the wonderful blog post I have taken from) visit and don't forget to leave a comment!

One more thing, for all of you in Boston....
Good luck on your walk! Kick asphalt!


  1. I am Anna and Angela's VERY proud and loving mother. Thank you Mandy for sharing my daugher's story with your readers and for your dedication to a great cause. I often wonder exactly what I did to deserve such wise and gifted offspring. Just being allowed to witness Anna's amazing accomplishment and devotion makes each day without her sister a little easier to accept. I want to put a big flashing sign on her that says, "See What Love can do." It can overcome and grow and most of all it can heal ... heal that terrible scar we who are left behind are forced to carry.
    Anna. Ama Loves you!

  2. Anna has become a dear friend and is amazing in her spirit and dedication. Thank you for sharing her story, I'm very proud of her.

    Dusty Showers

  3. Anna is my very dear friend of more than 7 years, and we most certainly have been through our ups and downs(Marriage birth and death). I am greatful for Anna doing this walk, because not only is she saving heartache for someone else but the pain for which she has to bear with the loss of her own family,and hope for those who have survived it. My own family members are survivors of Breast Cancer and several have also lost their lives to a cancer. Anna you are doing an amazing job, we are behind you the whole 60 miles! I am very proud to call you my friend and an inspiration. Keep up the awesome work, remember you have lots of people cheering you on, in heaven and on earth!


    "Be the change you want to see in the world" Mahatma Ghandi