I have a special guest post to share with you guys tonight.
As some of you might remember, back in June I blogged about my Fitness Bucket List and my desire to complete a two or three-day walk to raise money for breast cancer. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2008 and I will never forget the hope I felt when I saw hundreds of people walking through the streets of St. Petersburg, participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk, one month after my mom’s diagnosis. I saw love, compassion, support and survivors. It moved me.
I am honored to share this guest post from Glen, a man who fully immersed himself in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® event following the death of his wife in 1999.
Walk with Glen to Fight Breast Cancer
I would like to introduce myself as someone whose life was changed forever, starting in 1998 when my 48 year old wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
After several tests her doctors recommended high dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant to treat her stage 3 breast cancer. This program requires 3 rounds of standard chemo followed by 3 weeks in the hospital receiving the high dose portion. After accepting her diagnosis she decided to fight this with all her strength, including getting her first round of chemo on her birthday because it was the first available date. I will never forget singing her Happy Birthday as the IV pumped away.
The most difficult part for me was seeing her reaction to her treatment with fevers as high as 105 degrees and ever increasing breathing problems. The doctors prescribed steroids to treat the pulmonary problems but even when they increased the dosage to 10 times the norm she still couldn’t get better. The dosage was so high that it made her diabetic and while I measured the dosage of her shots she still insisted on injecting herself every time, even when she felt terrible.
She continued her brave fight right to the end when she passed away on October 6, 1999 while I was holding her hand.
I knew immediately that I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent another woman from going through what she did and I started by working with the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit where she was treated.
I also found an incredible event, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®. These walks require each participant to walk 20 miles each of the 3 days and to more importantly raise a minimum of $2,300 in donations for breast cancer research and treatment. I have participated in the Michigan walk 4 times since 1999 and enjoyed every minute of each.
This year, though, I am in the process of completing the #1 item on my bucket list and that is to complete all 14 of the 60-mile walks around the country in the same year. I committed to this dream endeavor a year ago and have been working diligently at raising a minimum of $32,200 in donations, getting all of my gear together, coordinating travel plans to fly around the country and putting in over 500 miles in training walks.
My journey started July 27 in the historic city of Boston where 1,000 walkers got to see much of the city and endure a downpour Saturday night at camp while we were in our lovely pink tents. This was followed the next week by some hot weather and a camp evacuation for storms in Cleveland. The walk route was beautiful as we started downtown but shortly were in the suburbs with some great scenery.
Chicago was up the next week where we got to enjoy a Sunday that took us along Lakeshore Dr. with an emotional closing ceremony at Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears. Up next was Michigan where I got to see my sister, walk through the ultimate cheering station in Plymouth and finish at Ford World HQ. It was nice to experience my first completely dry weekend with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s. It was perfect walking weather!
Even though I have only completed 4 of the 14 walks the experience has already been extremely fulfilling. I am just amazed at how many women and men continue to walk through their own blisters, shin splints and even stress fractures to help find a cure. One of my favorite buttons on the walk is “Blisters don’t need chemo!.” We all use that as motivation. I have also had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people both as walkers and the incredibly hard working volunteer crew members.
I personally have been feeling very good so far with just one small blister. I will continue to take full advantage of the fact that my incredibly supportive 2nd wife is a massage therapist and is there for me as soon as I return home from each event.
My experience will now take me to Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Dallas and 5 more cities as I finish in San Diego November 16-18. I am truly excited about visiting each of these cities, making new friends and most importantly raising money to combat this disease that will impact 1 in every 8 women in their lifetime.
If you are able to help me in this fight you can do so by making a donation at www.walkwithglen.com. I would greatly appreciate any support you can provide. You can also follow my journey by liking my “Walk with Glen” Facebook page. I am posting updates and pictures from every city.
Thank you for your interest and hopefully joining me in helping to find a cure for breast cancer in my lifetime. Take care.