Monday, October 22, 2012

Making Strides 2012

It had been a long time since I did any significant fundraising for anything. I do try to donate time and money when I can, though lately I feel like I haven’t done anything. I haven’t even been shipping to soldiers regularly…

In October 2005 I was pregnant with Spice and took part in a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Boston. It was an amazing experience walking with so many. Everywhere I looked there were women wearing “Survivor” sashes and women wearing shirts that said, “In memory of…” It was heart wrenching and humbling and something that I vowed to do again.

It is shameful then, that I haven’t participated in this fundraiser since that time. I loved the walk, I loved telling people what I was going to do and have them donate to my cause. I felt empowered all those years ago, handing over $1000 to the American Cancer Society. When you do something like that, you feel like you have your very own ray of sunshine for a moment.

This year I have two friends currently in treatment, so it was obvious to me that I should raise funds and walk again. Now that Sugar and Spice are 11 and 6, there’s no reason they couldn’t both walk with me. They know what breast cancer is, they know their friends mom has it. They’ve seen her go through surgery and lose her hair as a side effect to the chemotherapy.

What they don’t know is that nearly 300,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. They don’t know that with early detection survival rates are over 90%. They don’t know that every woman on their dad’s paternal side of the family has had breast cancer… So the odds of two of their aunts getting breast cancer is pretty high. Therefore, my girls’ odds are slightly higher than my own. It’s a no brainer that this is something we should ALL care about.

With two weeks to go until the event, I signed up and joined the walk on my neighbor’s team. As I raised $1000 last time, I set that goal for this year as well. I doubted that I would make it, given that I signed up so close to the event. Ten days, two emails and one Facebook post later, we were at the fundraising goal that I set for our mini-team within a team.

The girls asked every day how much we had raised, and who had donated to the cause. They were very excited to get the updates regularly. It’s funny, I don’t know when I realized it, but it came to my attention that Spice, who HATES to walk, didn’t know that by accepting these donations, we made a commitment to walk 3.5 miles.

Of course she said she wouldn’t walk. So I did what every good mother does. I bribed her. I knew full well that there would be women walking that would be dressed from head to toe in pink… so I offered up a pink feather boa like her friend Fancy Nancy has. She immediately snapped up the deal.

Sunday was a gorgeous day and the girls were happy to jump out of bed and throw on every pink item they owned. I told them that they could wear whatever they wanted, but had to wear good walking sneakers. Of course Sugar changed 37 times and Spice came up with a shorts and tutu combo that delighted her.

This walk was much, much smaller than the one I participated in years ago. But still there were so many walkers out to show support for a great cause. The girls LOVED being part of something so big. Spice kept looking around saying, “There must be a million people here.”

EN tagged along with us and the four of us finished the walk with minimal fighting and complaining. Spice said she was quitting when we had a mile or so left, so I bribed her again. By then we were all starving, so I offered up ice cream and she practically trotted through the finish line.

I am glad to have shared this event with my family this time around… and I hope to make this a family tradition for us. 

Sugar and Spice with their friend Spice Two in the middle.
Let's make sure these girls never have to worry about
breast cancer!

Ice Princess

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