Remembering Hope

January 18, 2011
Pink, pink and more pink. Pink shorts, pink sock, pink shoes, pink shirts, even pink hair! All the pink swimming across the little town of Tucson, as the people gathered untied to participate in the Walk for Hope. A gust of wind blew across ever so lightly, sending pink balloons flying into the morning sky. The sun was rising over the mountain peaks, illuminating the sky in bright pink, orange, and purple streaks, matching perfectly to the Breast Cancer theme that chilly September morning.

This would be my first time ever taking part in the Walk for Hope, something I had heard of but seldom cared to join in. That is until Cancer plagued my family, and I began to realize that not everyone has a surviving chance. So why not help raise their chances of survival? As the crowd grew, and more pink began to filter through the arch of balloons, I became wrestles I would be taking part in a 5 K walk, with hundreds of survivors, supporters, and those whom have lost a family member. I felt oddly out of place, knowing that I was only one of the three, and newly added to that list. I was a supporter with the scare left behind from my grandfathers two year battle with cancer that changed my family, and our views on life. Time ticked away, and I felt the sweat dew on the back of my neck, even with the light gust blowing through the park, and my heart thudded loudly in my chest, drowning out most of the chaos that the morning echoed through the park.

The time came, and the facilitators ushered everyone to the starting point, explaining the rules and the different stop points in the walk. Everyone became antsy, and was ready to set off, me on the other hand; I was afraid of being run over, or looked down upon due to being so young, my legs locked up as my anxiety grew, making it feel as if I was glued to the cement and unable to go on. The walkers were set free, and it was like opening a gate to a mass heard of pink cattle. People took off, creating a pace that they would be sure to keep throughout the whole walk around Tucson’s largest, and only mall. I too had to being to move, to avoid being trampled by the heard, thus, my legs came to life and blood flowed pushing me forward, yet still with sweat building, and my nerves dancing across my conscious thoughts.

Determination set in, and everyone was going to push themselves to finish, to prove not only to themselves that they could, but also to those around them who never had any doubt in their abilities. After the first block, my nerves began to settle, it was as if my crazy scattered emotions were feeling at ease and could finally sit still. The happiness that leaked from the walkers was contagious, and I soon found myself just as determined to finish what I had started. The wind gust carried the scents of the dry Tucson air across the plains, making the earth smell of dirt, yet refreshingly clean. A scent that in places like Phoenix is rarely produced due to the fast paced city, but in Tucson, your thoughts can be heard, and life is reflected upon, and one truly realizes that they are lucky to be where they are at.

Something new kicked me into gear, it was no longer the will to help that pushed me on, it was not my need to make a difference, to change someone’s life, to save a cancer patient, or even to put a smile on their face in their last days of living All that mattered in that moment making someone else’s life worth living. Giving back, yet never fully taking. Caring, yet never fully receiving. Understanding, yet never fully experiencing. Walking for a stranger, does not mean their life is not worth saving, it just means that one day maybe they too will pay it forward and help another person out in their time of need.

As my nerves began to spark again, this time out of excitement and accomplishment, I neared the end of the walk, seeing once again the pink balloon ark floating high and mighty in what was now the blue sky. As I drew closer to the finish line, my heart pumped, and my hands began to grow moist. I was stoked that I had just gone through with this walk. What seemed like two minutes had turned into two hours. Nothing to my surprise was sore, yet that would not have made a difference. The best part was, I walked for a Cause that I would now hold dearly in my heart, and would cherish each moment dearly. Not because I accomplished it, not because I did it for the recognition, it was because I had walked in a 5 K Breast Cancer event that drew attention, not to myself, but to the cause. This would eventually help those who were going through a rough time, and I hold that in my heart, forever and always.

The Walk for Hope brought new light to my eyes. It helped me to realize that I do not always have to see something occurring first hand, or better yet, I don’t have to even know what it truly is, I can still go out and make a difference. Walking seems like a pointless thing, most people ask well how is walking going to help a cancer victim. Honestly, it raises their spirits, creating the knowledge that someone really does care for them when they feel like they are so alone, even if someone is just walking. Life throws bones in crazy directions, and we must learn how to fetch them before we ever let them hit the ground, even if it means fetching the bone for someone else.

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