It is late Tuesday night here in DC (well, technically super early on Wednesday, but I'm still up, so it doesn't count.) We are slowly creeping closer to our walk date, but Cleveland and Boston have already done their 60 miles and raised tons of money! Chicago is up next, so if you are in Chi-town, get out your pink boa's and get out to cheer for those walkers!
Okay, Now, on to our interview! It comes from one of my new facebook 3 Day friends, Sandy Roberts. Sandy walked in Dallas last year and is walking in Denver at the end of this month. Her team is named Sisters Walking 60, as she walks with her sister who is a cancer survivor.
Question 1: What is your connection to breast cancer?
My sister, who is also my team mate, is a 9 year survivor. When our mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer 2 years ago' Rita decided she wanted to do the 3day walk in honor of mom and also in honor of Rita being a Breast Cancer Survivor. She asked me to join her and I did not hesitate to say "yes".
We chose Dallas as our walk site in 2008 in hopes that mom would be at the finish line to cheer us in. As fate would have it mom's cancer returned just 4 weeks prior to the walk and she was undergoing treatment and was too weak to be at the finish line in body but she was certainly there in spirit. Mom is once again in remission and we pray it will be a long remission this time, her first one was 14 months long.
Question 2: Can you tell us a little about you 3 Day experience?
We met some of the nicest people. Whenever we would see a 3day walker walking alone my sister and I would step along side of them and ask them their story. We met a man who was walking in honor of his wife who had died 5 years earlier from Breast Cancer, he walks in her memory. He has a 14 year old son who he hopes will join him in the walk one day.
There was a woman from Oklahoma City who was doing the walk and she was red tagged by medical on day one and the only way she could complete the walk was from a wheelchair, she was in the fighting breast cancer and was in the fight of her life. She died 3 days following the completion of the 2008 walk and left a young son and husband behind. It was her wish to do the walk, it was the memory she wanted to leave, she never gave up the fight. She actually got to push her wheelchair across the finish line with a medical person by her side, what a tribute she was to this cause.
Question 3: What have you learned from your 3 Day experience?
I learned from all the stories I heard and all the people I met that the walk is not about me walking, it is about the lives this disease affects, because when a person is diagnosed it affects not only them but their families and friends. When one person gets cancer an entire family gets it.
Question 4: What has been your contribution to the cause?
I hope I am making a difference by getting the word out there. Because of walks like the Susan G. Komen 3day, great strides are being made towards finding a cure. Because of early diagnosis, free mammograms, and just plain ole awareness, Breast Cancer is no longer a death sentence like it was some 20 years ago. There are now more survivors than ever, treatments are better with less side effects and women are no longer ashamed to say they have breast cancer. I can remember when you whispered those words. I hope, I make a difference by telling women to get yearly exams and to listen to their bodies and if a doctor does not pay attention to what you are saying, get a new doctor.
Thanks so much, Sandy! I am so happy to have "met" you via facebook and had the chance to witness your great spirit and devotion. You rock!
Alright....you know what I'm gonna say....
Blow them away, Chicago!
(sorry for the punny Windy City reference, but it had to be done.)