So, yesterday I posted two pics. Today I am going to get serious for a bit. Last year I decided to do something that took me WAY outside my comfort zone but that meant a lot to me. It was something I have wanted to take part in for several years but could never get my act together in time. This past year I kept hearing the commercials on the radio and something just kept saying to me “you gotta do this. Just bite the bullet and do it!” You know the one’s I’m talking about? The ones where it talks about how crazy it is to walk 60 miles in 3 days? Yep, I’m one of those crazies! And it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and one of the HARDEST things I’ve ever done. I guess it was last February, almost a year ago that I signed up for the Atlanta Susan G. Komen 3 day for the Cure Walk. We basically walked from Lake Lanier, GA to Turner Field.
And it was HARD but it was so worth it to me. First off, you have to raise $2300 just to take part in the walk. I really had fears that I would not be able to fulfill that part of the bargain. I emailed about everyone I knew and sent out letters. It was really funny that in a lot of instances, people that you really did NOT think would support you DID… and some that you were SURE would… did not.
And the TRAINING…. I had NO idea how much time it would take up in training but I am so glad I did it. I have no idea how many miles I walked in that 8 or 9 months but I’m sure it was HUNDREDS of miles. I tried to walk every day for an hour. Some days I walked more and some days less. I ended up with three different pairs of shoes because I had such a hard time with blisters. I had never had a problem with them before but man or man did I after that. And it seemed no matter WHAT I did… I would still get them.
I tried moleskin, I tried bandaids, I tried deodorant on my heels, and Vaseline, and glide, and double socks, and bandages, and those toe things… I don’t know what you call them but I called them toe condoms.
During the walk I had blisters on my blisters but I did not get them on my heels which is where I kept getting them while I was training. I remember the last morning, on the bus, on the wait to the drop off point my mom called and asked about my blisters and I bragged that I hadn’t gotten ANY on my heels I thought due to these big thick moleskin pads she had sent me and sure enough that morning, we hadn’t even walked a MILE when I started feeling that familiar burning sensation on my right heel. By lunch time I had multiple blisters on each heel and had to stop at every pit stop to rearrange socks and redo my bandages. My feet were a mess. I ended up losing the toenail of my right big toe due to a HUGE blood blister underneath it… I know…. TMI… and it still hasn’t grown back so I haven’t been able to start my training yet for this year.
Yeah, I already signed up to do it again. My brother had asked me the other day if I did the walk for a specific person. Well yes, and no. Several specific people but also several people in general. I have aunts on both sides of my family who have been stricken with this dread disease of breast cancer. I also have a first cousin who has battled it. I have lost several friends over the years to breast cancer. The story I guess that has hit me the hardest personally is my brother (other brother’s) step daughter. A couple of years ago when she was only like 25 years old or so, she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 5 months pregnant. They ended up having to do a mastectomy when she was pregnant. Last year they found a lump on the other breast but thankfully that one was benign. Then the other day my mom informed me that she (my niece) had just gotten out of the hospital. Apparently the cancer has spread to her chest (lungs? Mom wasn’t sure) and her brain. The doctors have apparently given her less than a year survival. This is a young woman with not one but TWO young daughters. Her daughters are like 1 and 4. These two little girls are most likely going to have to grow up without a mom. It totally breaks my heart. The thought of having to go through life without the person that should be the most important female in the world to you just kills me. THAT is why I’m going to do this walk AGAIN. I want them to find a CURE. I don’t want any more kids to have to grow up without their mom. I don’t want any more mom’s to lose their daughters, I don’t want to lose any more friends. I don’t want anyone else to have to lose another sister, mother, aunt, wife, friend, daughter, niece…. I am SICK of women dying from breast cancer. I WANT a cure! I will start walking again as soon as I can. I am going to start training. I learned a lot last year about what to and not to do. I do have some amusing stories to share from my training and the walk but I first wanted to share why this was so important to me.
There were amazing people I met during the 3 day walk. The survivor’s stories spurred me on. The number of people who approached us during the walk to thank US for being heroes and doing the walk spurred me on. The real heroes are the women who are fighting this disease every day. I was amazed at the people who lined the streets to clap and cheer us on. I tell you I cried more tears during those three days than I thought possible. I felt like I actually did something that MATTERED. I felt vital, important, and SO loved that you cannot even imagine. Like I said, it was the most incredible thing I have ever taken part in. SO… I will let you all in blogville out there know. I will occasionally this next 9 months or so be mentioning this and if you by chance want to donate… PLEASE DO. If you want to donate to MY walk, you can go to the 3 day website and type in Atlanta as the city and then type in my name… oh yeah. I guess some of you don’t know that… Peggy Burke. Or you can donate to someone else. Just donate to someone. You could help save a life. Thanks for listening. Here is the site to donate: