Tuesday, August 18, 2009

60 Miles, 3 Days, 1 Cause

I spent the weekend with a few thousand AMAZING people.

Selfless people.

Giving people.

Tireless people.

But, THESE people ...

...are the ones who I spent the most time with. My crew team. My 3 Day family!!!

We are the Check In crew ... we scan the walkers out each morning and then back in when they return to camp each afternoon.

We are ...

Scanner Angels!

Now, it is our job to pump them up for the walk as we send them off as well as to welcome them back with open arms and make "home" a happy place to be. So, we play our music loud and we dance for HOURS as they come back in a few at a time through the afternoon. So, we did a LOT of this this weekend:

And it was a BLAST!

Cause, ya know we like to ...

... crew like a ROCK STAR!!! (PS - that one was for YOU SuperModel!)

I LOVE every little thing about the 3 Day experience - even down to the community showers (because it is COMMUNITY!!!), but my favorite part of the experience is the people. Many of us on Check In have been coming back for a few years now. Some were brand new this year. But this is a team of people that are AMAZING women.

Women, who are now some of my very best friends ...

But, THESE women are the TRUE heroes ...

They don't just lace up their shoes for three days to fight breast cancer, they fight it every day of their lives. They have stared death in the face and fought it down.

THEY are the survivors!

They are the reason we do this thing!

And, for me personally, I do it for Marla - who fought it and won...

Grandma Norma - who lived to be 95 sweet years old! ...

Paula - who fought the fight as long as she could ...

... as well as Holly, Pam, Donna and Alice who beat the beast. Bev, who fights the beast even now. And, now this mama ...

She is an 8 month survivor. Her baby girl walked the last half mile with her, carrying the belief flag. I looked that little girl in the eyes and told her her mama was a hero. She looked back at me and said "yeah, she's MY hero". I asked her if she knew her mama was saving lives this weekend and her eyes got HUGE as she looked up at her hero. That was when the hero told me HER story - 8 months clean - I looked back into those big little girl eyes and told her that her mama was saving HER life this weekend. "She is doing this for YOU sweet girl!"

And then we all hugged and cried.

And there were many more hugs, many more tears and MANY more heroes throughout the weekend. Too many to recount here. But, they have changed my heart and resolved my will to fight even harder against this horrid disease. Now I know, more than ever, that I will never give up!

There is a moment during closing ceremonies when the walkers and crew have all come into the cheering of the crowd. Then it gets quiet as the survivors are introduced. And then all involved take one shoe off, kneel down and hold that lone shoe in the air as the survivors enter the arena.

And that moment rocks my world every single time.

For those who have fought and won.

For those who have fought and lost.

For those who are fighting now.

They - and WE - are all fighting for one single thing ...

A world without breast cancer.