60 Miles is a Long Way to Walk

November 13, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I had my doubts that I could do it.  But last weekend, I participated in an amazing event:  The Dallas-Fort Worth Breast Cancer 3-Day.  Over three days, some 4000 north Texans took part, raising an incredible $7.9 million to help fund research to defeat breast cancer.

As you have probably read in previous blogs, my daughter Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago, at the age of 34.  It was a real shock to her and to our entire family.  But she has shown amazing grit and determination to defeat this disease.  And she has had an incredible support group of friends – the young women who became the Cancer Fairies.  While she was recuperating from surgery and chemotherapy, her friends would bring her gifts to cheer her up, provide meals for her family, help watch her children, and run errands for her.  Each time one of them popped in to surprise her, Jennifer would exclaim, “The Cancer Fairy is here”.  Thus the name.

They decided to support her further by accompying her on a daunting 60 mile walk to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  When I found out, I asked if I could accompany them.  And they graciously agreed.

Last Friday, we gathered for the Opening Ceremony at Southfork Ranch.

cancer-fairies1

It was a chilly morning, and we were all smiles.  Those smiles turned to determination as we walked 20 miles to our campsite at Timberglen Park in far north Dallas.  It was an incredible sight to see the park covered by rows and rows of pink tents.  There were over 3000 of us camping there that night.

pink-tents

After a hot shower, a hot meal, and a good night’s sleep, we took off again the next morning.  The walkers took turns carrying some of the various banners through the streets of Dallas, Carrollton, and Plano.  At one point I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the one banner that honored my daughter.  Here I am with Jennifer.

david-jennifer

After we put another 20 miles behind us, we camped again at the same campsite.  Then on Sunday morning, we took off for our final stretch, marching through Addison and Dallas on our way to the SMU campus.  Here’s what I looked like when I arrived with my daughter at the end of 60 miles (and three days without shaving).  The pink do-rag is definitely a new look for me!

pink-do-rag

The Closing Ceremony there was emotional and inspirational.  One out of 8 women is affected by breast cancer at some point in her life.  closing-ceremony

Out team of 14 in the Cancer Fairies had managed to raise almost $45,000.  With the thousands of others accompanying us, the nearly $8 million raised will go a long way to ensure that my granddaughters hopefully won’t have to deal with breast cancer as their mother did.

I was proud to spend those three days with 13 young women, who are even more beautiful inside than they are on the outside.  (And as you can see, they are plenty attractive).  By the end of the event, I felt like I had adopted a dozen new daughters.  So, to Jennifer, April, Lauren, Susan, Paige, Kelly, Laurie, Shauna, Angela, Salina, Vicki, Jenny and Stephanie:  thanks for sharing a wonderful 3-Day weekend.  We are already talking about the possibility of doing this again next year.

If you want to see more, check out this link, and be sure to view the video:

http://www.nbcdfw.com/health/women/The-Cancer-Fairies-Come-Through.html

Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock

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