Friday, October 12, 2012

friday flashback: lady tata!

2. Complete the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk - DONE!

Part 1

It's October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In honor of that, and my dear friend Blanca who fought her own battle and WON (now several years in remission) my Friday Flashback posts are going to tell the story of how Alix and I tackled the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk.

Two years ago this month I had the opportunity to Race for the Cure with Blanca and her team of breast cancer survivors.  It was exhilarating and inspiring, and at the end of that post, I mentioned my plan to do the Susan G. Komen 3 Day.

For those of you unfamiliar with this event, it's three days of walking, approximately 20 miles each day for a total of 60 miles.

Yes, that's correct, SIXTY miles.

I became so set on doing this walk, that my friend Alix (who just happens to be Blanca's daughter and my dear friend) and I registered and made a plan to complete the walk together.

When we first planned it, we were so excited!  We were nine months out, plenty of time to train, fund raise and prepare.

We picked a team name: Lady Tata!

We excitedly talked about our options of where we'd walk.  Somewhere on the west coast where the weather is more cooperative?  Somewhere on the east coast where'd we be able to see cool landmarks throughout our walk?  Somewhere neither of us had ever been to before?

As we discussed this, making spreadsheets of options, considering airfare and time away from work, it suddenly hit me..."Alix, don't you want to see your mom at the finish line at the end of the walk?"

And that was it. Obviously we wanted to celebrate this feat with Blanca, so it was decided that we would walk in Washington D.C.  Close to home base, and most importantly, close to Blanca.

And as the months went on, and Sadira accompanied me on training walk after training walk, I became more and more focused on making sure I'd be able to complete the 60 mile walk.  I had never walked that long of a distance in that time span EVER, so I wanted to make sure I was physically prepared. 

And so we walked.

And walked.

And walked.

Until finally it was end of the summer and the walk was less than a month away and I realized that I had forgotten to equally commit myself to the OTHER major challenge of the 3 Day---the fundraising.

And I found myself two weeks away and $1400 short of my $2300 commitment. 

Which meant if I couldn't raise the funds I would have to pay for them myself. 


So I sprung into gear and wrote the following letter.  Posted all over Facebook and begged my friends to share share share:

One year ago today, with your help, I rappelled 23 stories down the side of Silo Point and raised over $2300 for Gaudenzia’s women and children’s program.  This year I’ve decided to take part in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and walk 60 miles in Washington D.C. over three days.
I’m writing today to once again ask for your support. 
In order to walk I must, once again, raise $2300.  As of today I’m about $1400 short of my goal, with less than two weeks to go.  I’m asking that if you can, to please consider a donation of any amount to the Susan G. Komen foundation.  To donate, please visit my page at:
 I know many of you are familiar with this organization and the good work that they do, but I’d like to give you an example.  Recently I was able to meet a woman in a local support group whose chemotherapy and radiation treatment has been funded by the Komen foundation.  Her health insurance only covered a small portion of her expenses and she has three small children.  She was actually pregnant with her third when she was diagnosed.  With the help of the Komen Foundation, she is on the road to beating breast cancer.
More specifically, I am walking in honor of Blanca Wisner, a dear family friend and breast cancer survivor.  You can read more about her here:
If you cannot donate monetarily at this time, please consider forwarding this email to anyone who may want to, or post the link on your Facebook.  Every little bit helps!
I sincerely appreciate any support you can provide.  It was with your assistance last year that I was able to do the impossible and rappel 23 stories down the side of a building!  I know with your support I will be able to make it 60 miles.
Thank you,

With only two weeks to go I was not hopeful, but I figured my plea would make up SOME of the difference.

And like it always does in times of need, something amazing happened.

My friends came through like renegades, and gave when they could, passed on my pea when they couldn't.  I started getting emails with the five words every 3 Day walker LOVES to see in the subject line:

"You're received a new donation."

And soon these new donations were attached to names I'd never ever seen before.  People who had heard what we were participating in and decided to give because their mom had had breast cancer...or their grandmom...or their aunt. 

Or just cause we asked.

My friend Kerri's company, True Citrus, provided an extremely generous donation, and next thing I knew I had not only met my goal, but I had exceeded just nine days.

I was ASTONISHED, to say the least.

Fueled by this new excitement I couldn't wait to get started.  So when Alix's flight landed in Baltimore shortly before the walk, we eagerly discussed what we were packing, what we were wearing, our team shirts, our decorations, EVERYTHING.   

We were AMPED and READY.

We made our plan...that Alix and her parents Richard and Blanca would pick me up bright and early at 4:30am the morning of the walk so we could make it to DC in time for Opening Ceremonies and start our trek.

We were tired, but giddy with excitement on the drive down, with our carefully packed bags (which contained all of our clothes and necessities for the next three days, all individually wrapped in trash bags to protect from the elements and carefully labelled), along with our water packs, extra socks, bandages, blister care, and lots and lots of pink accessories in tow.

And as we approached Nationals Stadium, the sea of pink got bigger and bigger.  We deposited our belongings on a truck, knowing that we wouldn't see them again until we completed the first leg of our 60 miles. 

Soon Opening Ceremonies began.

Richard and Blanca were there to see us off

And just as Opening Ceremonies concluded, the sun began to come up.

We hugged and kissed the gal who inspired us to do this crazy walk in the first place...

...and hit the road!

We were excited!

We were full of energy!

We were ready!

We had NO IDEA what we were in for.

(Next Friday, Part Two: how we walked 40 miles in the rain...uphill...both ways.)


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