My Komen Walk Experience

I wanted to take a few minutes to write about my experience yesterday so I can remember it. Memory fades faster these days. 🙂

I have done this walk in the past along with my office mates to raise funds for breast cancer. Each time I usually walk with someone and chat the whole three miles. This year, not only did I walk with a specific person on my heart (my friend Linda Karst who is happily a survivor!!!) – I walked alone. Not literally, of course, because I was surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of people. This event in the Fashion Island area of Newport Beach attracts thousands upon thousands of participants, vendors, volunteers and more. But I walked by myself, meaning I did not walk and chat along the way. Instead, I truly walked “in the moment”.

I often speak of hope, and a lot of times I’m doing it for myself, but have found that my messages inspire others as well. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to me to completely give up hope in any situation. I believe, and have witnessed, have been told of and have experienced, countless times when the solution to whatever plight in life you are experiencing is right around the corner. Sometimes within the same hour, other times a little (or a lot!) longer. BUT, the solution or relief almost always comes in one form of another. So giving up hope should never be an option. Being open to solutions is a far better option.

This walk is entirely one of hope. Hope for a cure. Hope for peace. Hope for health. Hope for others. Hope for yourself. Hope for a reconciliation of the pain that many have suffered. I witnessed the hope people carried with them by their laughter, despite, I reckon, many hours of previous and ongoing suffering and tears. I shared in people’s love and pain, by reading the backs of their shirts, honoring those they loved who lost their lives to cancer. While they walked in front of me, conversing with their friends and family members, I cried for those they lost as I read about them for the first time and studied their smiling photographs. Near the end of the walk, when you are tired and wanting it to be over, the organizers have strategically placed large photographs of people who have died or who have survived. And for the first time ever I really studied each of those photos – read their birth year and death year, looked into their eyes, shared their smiles and mourned those who didn’t make it and the families that miss them terribly. I also celebrated those that are still alive, surviving, thriving and LIVING, I will presume, like they’ve never lived before.

Along the route, I paid full attention to the peppy cheerleaders, the rockin’ bands singing and giving high 5’s to the crowd, the gifted DJs and their appropriately-selected song, and the thirst-quenching volunteers excitedly passing out cups of water to the walkers. I never heard full conversations, but I did eavesdrop on several of them during my time as I weaved in and out of the crowds. That kind of thing always makes for an interesting time. 🙂

This year I paid particular attention to so many people: “Teams” wearing identical shirts and socks, women who got creative with their shirts by adding bling and fancy ties and ribbons, babies in strollers – decked out in pink of course, children walking alongside their parents without questioning why, grandmothers in wheelchairs wearing pink everything, including the boa and halo! And even more so, the women who proudly and happily displayed their “I am a survivor” shirt and pink rose while they walked alongside friends and family. It was fabulous! It was touching. It was happy and sad all at the same time.

I also saw some super creative slogans, such as Save the Ta Ta’s, Save the Boobies, Boobs need support too, Feel Your Boobies, etc. But I think the one that made me laugh the most was a shirt with two baseballs imprinted directly over the boobies, with the slogan, “Save 2nd Base.” Loved that!

An event like this is mind-blowing. I can only imagine the time, efforts, money, resources, paperwork, faxes, emails, text messages, red tape, organization and love that goes into coordinating such a large-scale event. And all I had to do was complete an online form, raise a few funds and walk a measly three miles. Doesn’t seem fair, but I know my little part in this whole event makes a difference in some small way. If not just to open my heart & mind a little more.

This event is one of celebration….and hope. It’s also a lesson: May we never, ever allow the light to burn out in our hearts and minds and give up hope. When you need to, lean on your friends, family and strangers to uplift you, remind you of your greatness and the possibilities that are out there. I’ll do my part and keep reminding you if you’ll do the same for me when I need you. Oh who am I kidding..I’ll do it anyway.

❤ Kim
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. — Tom Bodett


One response to this post.

  1. So glad you shared this on FB so we could see it! I feel that way about the CHOC Walk every year and sit here very torn on what I’m going to do. It’s the Sunday after Zumbathon, and I technically have a weekend-long event to attend. I watched one team go from “supporting” a child to “in memory of” the next year. It’s a walk of thanks for my healthy daughter, of thanks to the incredible staff who are keeping her friend as healthy as she can be, and of tears for those who were lost so young. Thank you for everything you are doing with Zumbathon. As you now know, both my sister and my mother-in-law fought and won their battles while I was pregnant with A. I hope that it’s something that A will never have to deal with.


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