Update 8/09 – I do not know why it did not occur to me to publish the letter I sent all of my donors last year, but here it is. Participating in last year’s 3 Day is one of the things I’m most proud of. As this year’s walk nears, I feel a bit nostalgic…
Dear Family and Friends:
I did it!
And what an amazing experience it was. For three days, I laughed. I cried. I met amazing people who gave new meaning to the words “courageous” and “passionate” and “generous.” I heard stories that touched my spirit. I felt elated and I felt despair, often within the same hour. I found out how good it feels to have friends come out and support me, not because I asked them to, but just because they believe in me. I missed my family and cherished the small amounts of time I got to see them on each of the days. I brought smiles to the faces of strangers and I told more people “thank you” in three days than I have done in just as many years put together. I felt like an angel when my friend told me that her six year old son described this walk as “Sarah helping God.”
The walk started before sunrise Friday morning. My teammate and I met 3,297 other walkers at Bellevue Community College for Opening Ceremonies. It was heartwarming to see the familiar faces of new friends I’d met over the months of training. We headed out into Bellevue, stopping for lunch near Bellevue Square. From there, we walked towards Redmond, where we ended the day at Marymoor Park. Day 2 had us walking through Redmond and Kirkland. It was the hardest day for me – lots of hills, including over six miles of constant uphill right after lunch. It was a good thing two of my closest friends came to cheer us on in the morning, and that my husband and the kids took their place in the afternoon. Knowing someone was waiting for me along the route really kept me moving! Day 3 started with an early bus ride to the Arboretum in Seattle. From there we crossed through the UW campus and made our way to Greenlake (where I was met by more friends). My parents, husband and the kids met us at Gas Works for lunch and then we finished off the afternoon by heading into Downtown Seattle and along the waterfront to finally end at the Seattle Center. When we arrived at the Seattle Center, we walked through a tunnel of cheering supporters that reached across the entire park. It was truly phenomenal.
I’ve accomplished a lot in the last six months. I’ve walked hundreds of miles, 60 of them in just three days. I’ve raised $8,504, thanks to your donations. But here is what I am most proud of. At the Closing Ceremonies, they shared that breast cancer has a 94% survival rate. My grandma is eight year survivor and that is something I am grateful for everyday. But as you know, my friend Todd did not have breast cancer; he had stomach cancer and lost his battle this past summer. Stomach cancer doesn’t have such a good prognosis and so it was bittersweet to hear this statistic. But as I was listening, I was also reminded of why I walked. Way back in February, Todd told me that when researchers find that one drug doesn’t work for a particular type of cancer, they don’t just toss it down the drain. Other researchers will take the findings and apply them to other cancers. Twice, Todd was given extra time by drugs that were originally developed by breast cancer research money. And so this has been my platform – your generosity has not only benefited breast cancer research, it has benefited all types of cancer research. Many of you told me that you had no idea your contributions would stretch so far, and so I am honored to be able to share this message and most grateful to Todd and his family for allowing me the opportunity to spread the word. This is part of Todd’s legacy, and I am proud to be part of it.
I did it.
I walked 60 miles.
I raised $8,504.
Thank you for being one of the over 100 people who helped me reach my physical and financial goals. For three days, I lived the experience of a lifetime. Thank you for being part of this spectacular journey.
Some Fun Facts (that everyone seems to be asking about):
1 – Throughout all of my training AND the walk, I did not get a single blister! On the last day of the walk, I had my feet taped up pretty good because I had a few tender spots that I wanted to prevent from blistering.
2 – It took me about two days for my muscles to recover. My quads were the sorest…all that squatting in the Honeybuckets! I haven’t had any of the swelling or peeling that people warned me about, however.
3 – After walking 60 miles, my family and Todd’s wife, son and parents met up with me at the end of Closing Ceremonies. They made me walk halfway up the stadium stairs to find them (it was worth it). And then, my kids thought that since I had just walked 60+ miles, it should be no problem for me to walk another generous ½ mile to the restaurant for dinner. And yes, I carried Little Man the whole way.
4 – It was hot during the day (and quite cold and damp at night and early morning). I drank approximately 150-200 oz of liquid each day. My favorite cheer squads were the tiki stands that served “Gatoritas” and the kids that came out to spray us down with squirt bottles.
5 – The Seattle 3 Day Walk walkers raised $8.6M this year!
As many of you know, I will be walking 60 miles over three days this September. The 3 Day Walk benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.
Nearly everyone I know knows someone who’s life has been affected by breast cancer. But did you know that all of the findings from breast cancer research benefit MORE than breast cancer patients?
I will walk in honor of my grandmother, Marie, an 8-year breast cancer survivor.
And I will walk in honor of my dear friend Todd. Todd was diagnosed with stomach cancer just last fall, and sadly lost his battle on June 29th. He fought bravely, and some of his tools were drugs originally developed with breast cancer research money for breast cancer patients. Todd leaves behind a beautiful wife and a three year old son.
See how far your dollars reach?
My feet have already gone many miles this year, culminating in a 60-mile walk in September. The hundreds of miles I travel this year is nothing compared to what my grandma and Todd have gone through.
If you want to follow and support my journey, please contact me directly. Because this is a private family site, this site is not linked to my fundraising blog. My goal is to raise $8,500 towards breast cancer research so that in the hopes that no family has to experience what my grandma and Todd’s family have gone through. Please help me. No donation is too small.