Yesterday was such an incredible day. No, I’m not always one for getting up early (ever, but surely not on a Saturday!). But, when I think about the lives we saved and the steps we took, I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of our sponsors and the time of our volunteers.
Yesterday, we hosted the 2013 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Northwest Arkansas. Almost 500 people came out to walk and we raised close to $40,000.
But Friday really put everything in perspective for me. Thursday night I had attended a meeting. The volunteer who presented the “mission moment” is a 17 year breast cancer survivor. She always finds a way to articulate what she has to share in a way that resonates and lingers in my mind. I was overwhelmed thinking that over 17 years ago a group of volunteers were doing what we are doing to save her life. Making Strides events have been around for 21 years and may have just been the thing that funded her life saving treatment.
Then, early Friday afternoon, I got a text from a friend that his mom had received the feedback from her PET scan and there was “no evidence anywhere of cancer in her body”. Now, where I come from, “no evidence anywhere” is God size healing. I still have scar tissue and such that tell you it was there at one point. My throat always looks inflamed, but to hear no evidence anywhere is a miracle!
Late Friday afternoon I got on Facebook and almost immediately read the status of one of my parents friends who just this week had received her diagnosis. A woman less than 6 days ago walked into my sister’s wedding shower with the biggest smile on her face. She was happy and celebrating with our family while carrying such a heavy burden in her heart. While I was pulling down the covers to crawl in bed and get to sleep early for the breast cancer walk, she was gathered in her living room telling her daughters the hardest news of their lives.
After I pulled down those covers and crawled into bed, I got on Facebook and Twitter (2 bad habits I have every evening…guess it could be worse!). Waiting for me was a direct message from a dear friend in Arkadelphia who just that morning heard the devastating words “its cancer”.
Cancer is ugly. It sucks. It drains you. It cuts to the core of who you are and makes you ask really deep questions. Yet at the same time, it has the power to draw out of you the best and worst of who you are. It can bring a broken family together. It can help you articulate and connect with another human soul in a way you never knew possible. It can define purpose and develop meaning. It can draw perspective. It can inflame fear and squelch need. It can develop in you the diamonds of your spirit that only come after the storm.
What I do is to act and pay back. I’m here because someone came before me and wanted to leave a lifesaving legacy. My dollar today, my hour today, my miles, my weekends, my late nights, my ideas, my conversations and my stories may not do something today….but they will do something tomorrow….of that I am 100% sure!
I have a few days left to reach my $100 goal and I have $75 to go. If you would like to donate, you may do so my going to my personal page on Team Rack Pack!