Tracey participated in the 39.4 mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on Saturday, October 19 in New York. The 11th annual walk stretched over two days across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island raising $6.7 million. Below is Tracey’s account of walking for a cure.
Watching the sun rise never gets old. On this particular morning, I happened to be watching it from the banks of New York City’s piers. It was an inspiring beginning to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Something about the crispness of the air converging with the warmth emanating from the first rays of light had a rejuvenating effect on my body. The silence of the night became full of chatter as day broke and people gathered in droves for the cause.
I walked for my mother, a confident, beautiful and resilient woman who was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago. My mom was, thankfully, in remission for years. Now, her cancer has again reared its ugly head. As she fights her daily battle, as do so many others, I felt compelled to take to the streets with thousands of others to show our support and raise money to fight this horrific disease. Nearly 3,000 men and women gathered to walk for a cure. The large number of people didn’t diminish the feeling that we are part an intimate group of survivors, family members, friends and supporters. Every smile and nod of the head to each other acknowledged that the day is about more than our individual attempts to finish the walk. Today is about community; and the support this community gives one another.
Many people who couldn’t physically walk lined the streets along the route instead. They overwhelmed us with love and encouragement. Showcasing banners and signs of unanimity, they distributed drinks and snacks, provided a place to rest as walkers paced themselves, and more than anything, cheered us on as they walked vicariously through us. Our accomplishment would be theirs too.
In our line of work, there is a focus on connecting with people. In walking for a cure, I was reminded of the interconnectivity of our lives with each other. The shared bond from the walkers is a story in itself – a story I am pleased to share.
Here’s to better and healthier chapters.