When we first started this journey 5 years ago, we never dreamed it would take us as far as it has or that our lives would be so greatly impacted by our running shoes. But life has shown us, one again, how powerful a footprint can become.
So here we are, five years later, still walking to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. We would first like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been beside us these last 5 years and those who are continuing to support us through each “step” of our breast cancer journey. Together we have raised a remarkable $20,000 and we are not stopping there!
We feel that as much support as we are getting from everyone, it is time that we share some of our heartfelt stories with invite you to purchase a t-shirt that helps represent our continuing journey to fight this dreadful disease.
This shirt was designed to center around the three things we find to be most representative of our walk each year:
• and, of course, breast cancer (bet you didn’t see that one coming! Haha).
The word BELIEVE says it all! As we continue to walk the miles, we meet many new people who have their own stories to share. Both of us have agreed that these are some of the greatest moments we have had on the walk. Being able to share smiles, tears, hopes, and emotions makes you feel connected to strangers in ways you couldn’t imagine.
- Some of you may have already heard the story of the man we met at the Pandora store while we were collecting door prizes from the Homers for Hooters fundraiser we put on last year. This man, whose wife had died of breast cancer, was very uplifting. As he showed us pictures of his beautiful, bald wife wearing funny wigs, he shared a message with us. This message was to never give up because he believes that there is a cure. Every step we take is one step closer to saving another victims’ life.
- Have you started following Dr. Sheri Phillips, spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen foundation, on Facebook yet? If not, we certainly recommend it. The posts she shares are only a small example of how inspiring, empowering, and encouraging she is. For the past three years, Dr. Sheri has taught us both to believe that what we do really does make a difference. The words she shares at opening and closing ceremony make you feel like you can be the change you wish to see in the world. This may sound a bit cliché but her demeanors, attitude and enthusiasm can make you believe that breast cancer’s days truly are numbered! There is an end to this disease and participating in the three day is a HUGE step towards the cure. Last year in Philadelphia, we were fortunate to sit and talk with her at lunch for a few minutes and we are excited to see her walking the 60 miles this year in Chicago.
So the footprints may seem obvious to include on a t-shirt about walking 60 miles, right? Well there is more to it than just that. The footprints in this ribbon hold literal and figurative meaning in our hearts. Yes, we literally do make footprints during the walk but as I stated before, our running shoes are making a huge impact on the way we lives our day to day lives. We have footprint on our hearts from the stories we hear from other walkers.
Last year, on our walk, we met another man who was walking in memory of his wife. You might be thinking, “How sweet.” Or “What love and admiration he must have for her.” But what I haven’t mentioned is that he was not just walking with us in Philadelphia, he was participating in all 14 cities, walking over 840 miles and raising over $32,000. Now that is dedication. This man shared his story about his wife and how and when she was diagnosed. As he started to get teary, he informed us that she had her very first chemotherapy on her 40th birthday. A few years later she was a survivor until she found out it had come back. After hearing this emotional story and having goose bumps all the way through, you had no doubt in your mind that this amazing, strong and beautiful women was once married to an outstanding and loving husband.
At both opening and closing ceremony, Dr. Sheri asks us all to take a moment to remember who we are walking for and encourages us all to give them a voice in the fight by speaking their name out loud. This allows us to honor the angels that we all so greatly miss, the fighters we all support and the survivors that we all congratulate.
Yes, the walk starts with a footprint. It starts with our first step towards completing our 60 miles and finding a cure. And three days later, it also ends with a footprint. Only our last footprint is not on the ground but rather in the air. After all the walkers and crew member’s walk and dance into the closing ceremony we all take our shoe off and hold it in the air to commend all the survivors as they join us for our celebration. We raise our shoes up to show the angles, fighters, and survivors that we will never give up!