By Suzanne Aronowitz @suzaron
A few weekends ago I participated in the 2010 Susan G. Komen Boston 3-Day for the Cure. What is that exactly? Just a casual 60-mile stroll through Boston for breast cancer. Casual it’s not, but now that it’s over and my feet have started to heal, I can say without any sarcasm that it was an amazing experience! Picture thousands of walkers, volunteers and crew members dressed up in a variety of pink outfits joining together to fight for a common cause. Side by side with my best friend, @sanndeni and I met some amazing people as we powered from suburb to suburb for three days until we reached UMass Boston where our friends and family greeted us with the best possible gift….flip flops!
Having participated in the Boston 3 Day back in 2007, I recognized a bunch of walkers from three years ago. What’s amazing is that a lot of people take on this feat year after year. Not only is the actual walk extremely challenging, but there are months of preparation as well. In addition to the training time people put in (note to self: next time train!), each participant is required to raise $2,300. It really is the people that make this experience worth it. We spoke with one walker who finished chemotherapy just three weeks ago. Another has been a cancer survivor for 35 years and does this walk every year so that her grandchildren don’t have to suffer the way she did. By the end, every single step becomes painful, but it’s impossible to give up when you’re surrounded by such strength.
While the walkers are predominately female, there are a bunch of men who participate. In addition to the famous Men With Heart crew, a staple at the Boston 3 Day for the last seven years is George. George lost both his wife and daughter to breast cancer. We encountered George during the first day walking through Wellesley and he became one of our favorites to spot throughout the weekend. George had a full length walking stick, an enormous backpack and was singing Hallelujah as he trucked along. Whenever George made it to the next pit stop, meal or the end of the day finish line, he would yell “Honey, I’m home” at the top of his lungs. George is just one example of the inspirational people we met who will literally walk the world to find a cure for Breast Cancer.
Will I participate again? I’ve been asked this over and over during the last week. Sure, tent life isn’t exactly a dream come true after 20 miles of walking. Nor are porta potties for three days straight. But the answer is yes, I definitely will. It might take a year or so for me to get the courage to embark on this journey again, but it’s a cause I hold dear to my heart and if George can do it, so can I!