This was our second year walking with my friend’s team, Keeping the Headlights On. Our friend’s mom is a breast cancer survivor, so every year my friend and her sister rally to get friends and family together to participate in this event. Like last year, we got up early and met at my friend’s house, a little sleepy but ready to walk, not realizing what a day it would be. It’s a day of celebration for the survivors, a day for remembering lives lost, but most importantly a day for hope.
The walk itself is a fun experience because everyone dresses up, and the road is paved with high fives and cheerleaders, getting everyone excited to be there. By the time you make it to the end, happy to be there and happy to have done something to help the fight against breast cancer, you feel why you’re there.
It’s hard not get teary eyed watching the survivors hugging family after the race, grateful to be there and fight another day. It’s hard not to notice a young girl sobbing as she wears a t-shirt that says, “we’ll miss you, Grandma Vi”. And it’s extremely hard to see a friend in tears over the recent passing of a family friend. Her daughter was there walking (a breast cancer survivor herself) on Sunday, even though she had just lost her mother on Tuesday. There was a moment yesterday when I looked around and felt so privileged to be there, as if I were on the outside, looking in. I felt humbled.
The Seattle Seahawks drum line, Blue Thunder, was even there to lead the survivors to center stage, to be cheered on and celebrated.
The pain and sadness are awful, of course, but if you can see past that, you see that the hope is inspiring. I’m not an expert in advocacy for the fight against breast cancer, I’m not an advocate for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but I am an advocate for people helping people. Do something small, do something big, but do something. Your heart will thank you.