This September, I'll be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. It’s a 3-day, 60-mile walk with a bold goal—to end breast cancer forever.
This event is very close to my heart. My mom walked in 2005, having just completed treatment for her initial diagnosis. She recruited her closest girlfriends to join her and the training began! About halfway through, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time. Most people would call it quits and vow to walk again another year. If you know my mom though – she doesn’t quit, EVER. So she came up with a plan. She decided that she would walk as far as she could each day and once she’d had enough; her girlfriends would take turns, pushing her the remainder of the distance… in a wheelchair. THAT’s how much she believed in this cause. She would cross that finish line no matter what it took – and she did! My fourth grade-self beamed with pride and vowed one day to join her.
It breaks my heart to say this, but unfortunately, that won’t be possible. 8 years ago, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. I was 15 years old at the time and felt as if my world had been shattered – I was forced to grow up and navigate through life without my momma. What’s crazy though, is that people would forget that my mom was sick. She never let her disease affect the way she lived her life – if anything, her diagnosis pushed her to live each day as if it were her last, to practice positivity and graciousness, and to never give up.
My momma was a person who oozed joy from her pores, sent kindness from her eyes, and embraced life with her whole being. She was my constant guidance, best friend, and my biggest cheerleader. Not a day goes by where my heart doesn’t ache with missing her.
In the years since her passing, I have made it my own personal mission to do what I can to help contribute to this cause: participating in the Race for the Cure for the past 15 years, 3-DAY volunteering in 2006 with my mom, grandma, and aunt; cheering on 3-DAY walkers at the Lil’ Smokie’s station, and fundraising events done through Gerber Collision. No little girl should have to go through life without her mommy – that is why I’m walking.
I've agreed to raise at least $2,300 in donations. From a monetary donation to encouraging words of support: I would love any and all help you can provide!
I know come September, when I lace up my shoes to start walking, my angel will be walking beside me – cheering me on every mile. I walk for my mom, Claudia Claudio; my grandmothers, Kathy Mihalek and Joanne “Joey” Dube; my close friend, Stacey Gregory; as well as the millions of moms, men, and women who are currently battling breast cancer.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!