When I started walking the 3-Day in 2010, I did so to honor my Mom, who was diagnosed in 2008 and has been cancer-free for over 8 years. I continued walking and crewing not just for Mom, but also for many of my friends and hers who have been diagnosed and have battled this disease... many are multi-year survivors, others have lost their battles.
My life has changed by being involved in this cause. I have met some of the most inspirational people ever and have made friends who have made indelible impressions on my heart. I have bonded with people who are my sisters in every sense of the word. My life and my world are now bigger and better because of these experiences and these friendships.
I've always thought my walks would be for my mom and my friends and her friends... and the aunts and relatives of friends. But then everything changed. In September 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am no longer just walking for Mom and the others, I now walk for myself. And that has changed me...
I am now officially a statistic... I am now one of the 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed in her lifetime... I am now one of the too many diagnosed with this disease every day... I am now the person fighting... And I will never stop.
But the thing about statistics is they are just numbers. Important numbers, yes, but they don't tell the whole story. They don't tell you the size of the fight in a person... They don't tell you about the desire that a person has... And they don't tell you the important things about a person.
I am a fighter. And while cancer is scary, I am not going to let it defeat me. It will only make me stronger.
I am so much more than cancer. I am so much more than a statistic. And with your continued support during this fight, I will be walking for me and for every person impacted by this disease in 2017. Because together, we will defeat this disease and we will find a cure.