Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unexpected feelings

Last weekend my wife and I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. This is a 3 day, 60 mile walk for breast cancer. My wife signed up as a walker and I as a crew member on the route safety crew. Terri raised over $3000 for the cause a was also chosen to be a flag bearer on stage of the opening and closing ceremonies. The flag she carried was "Hope". A fitting flag as we hope for a better future and hope for a cure. There is always Hope.

My wife bravely walked through Washington DC into Maryland and back into our nations capitol just 7 days after her last radiation treatment. Her strength, courage and wonderful spirit through these 3 days encouraged me and those around us to really push through the aches and pains for this cause.

As for me, the cynic, I had a life altering experience.
I knew I was going to be a bit emotional seeing my wife up on stage, proudly showing her newly growing hair, but I never expected to meet a group of loving, caring and wonderful people as the people I met these four days.

When I originally signed up for crew, I signed up for route safety because I enjoy riding my bicycle and route safety sounded interesting and a bit challenging. What I didn't expect was to meet this DC moto crew that took me in and made me feel like I had a new family.

Our job was basically to help the walkers navigate the 60 mile trek and to get across the more dangerous intersections. I found myself dancing and joking with the walkers to help keep their spirits up as they navigate DC and the Maryland suburbs. I laughed, hugged and occasionally teared up when the walkers came by and every single one of the over 2000 walkers left something with me on my street corners. They all walked for personal reasons but the collective reason was to hopeful put an end to this disease that effects 1 in 8 women and men.

Not only did I get the inspiration from the walkers but this crew was incredible. The route safety crew is made up of of motorcyclists and bicyclists. All volunteer for this crew because they truly believe that with their efforts they will find a cure for breast cancer.

Not only if their dedication to the cause wasn't inspiring enough they also kept tabs on Terri the entire 60 miles and let her know how well she was doing every step of the way with words of encouragement and hugs. All this without me asking or saying a word.

During the closing ceremony the walkers come in through toward the stage through a gauntlet of volunteers giving high fives and hugs. The the crew walks in and the ovation we received from the walkers was something I could not have imagined. The appreciation of what we did, not only route safety but all the crews was heart warming.

Then the survivors came in and Terri walked on stage carrying her "Hope" banner and I started to loose it. Tears were free flowing and I felt my legs weaken. But then, just when I needed it most, one of my crew leaders came up behind me and hugged me tight telling me she would never stop doing this until they find a cure. Her hug and the well wishes from the rest of this amazing crew has given me hope for the future.

Terri and I have already agreed that we will be crewing the DC walk again next year and I will definitely be a part of the MOTO crew. I think we will also crew together for another walk next year.

I came hope feeling different about this disease, the cause, the Susan G. Komen organization and myself. I feel that I am truly lucky to have met such wonderful people who have quickly become friends and warriors in the fight against breast cancer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Both of you are truly inspirational.