In 2007, my dear friend Martha Edgemon told me that her daughter-in-law, Karson Beaty, had breast cancer. Karson was 30 years old when diagnosed. I clearly remember the exact moment Martha said the word, "cancer." I remember how my heart felt heavy and I had a queasy feeling in my stomach. What can I do?," I wondered, "How can I help?"
As I followed Karson's journey over the next many months, her battle was never far from my mind. I barely passed science in school; creating my own cure is probably out of my reach. One day an online friend wrote me that she was doing a breast cancer walk. I realized that while medical science is not my forte, endurance certainly is. I started researching the walks and found one that seemed ideal for me, The Avon Walk. It covers 39 miles in two days and a Walk is held annually in Houston, only a 3-hour drive away. In Texas, that's close!
Last fall, it was finally time to begin my training and now my walk is only 77 days away. My training (at this stage) consists of a 13 mile walk Saturday followed by a 7 mile walk Sunday and a 3 and 5-mile walk through the week. 8 weeks from now I'll be logging 45 miles a week.
A lot of great things have happened to me in this training. I've lost 25 pounds. My legs are strong and my steps are sure. My family have become my support-team with Paul on foot at my side for the "long" walks and the girls on bikes. We are all doing this big thing together.
But the greatest thing is that I am making a difference. As a participant, I boldly agreed to raise $1800 in donations before the event. this money will help fund breast cancer research and screening for those who can't afford it. The research is what most thrills me, because, as my shirt says, I'm "In it to END it."
I'm dedicating my walk to Karson, who is still fighting her battle. I'm also walking for my mom's best friend, Joan, still fighting. And for Kathy A and Irene S. who won their battles, and for Mary Pearl and Paul's Grandma Florene, who not only won their battles but lived on to old age. And I'm walking especially for each person who will lose their battle to breast cancer every 14 minutes of every single day, every week of every month of every year -- until a cure is found. I'm walking so that should this disease ever touch either of my beautiful girls, their odds will be better.
Will you Help Me?
Every donation of any size will help me reach my goal, which in turn can change the future of this deadly disease.
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