The American Cancer Society people were grateful for the amount of money I raised for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. But I didn’t really do all the work — the 50 people who opened their wallets and generously shared their hard-earned money are the ones who did most of the work. I am grateful for these people — family and friends and friends of friends. They shared a total of $3,310 and made me the top individial fundraiser, second to a team of people that raised about $5,000. This morning, after the 5K walk, I was presented with a special keychain to acknowledge this significant contribution. I will carry this keychain with me each day and will never lose sight of why I have it — because of the support and love and concern that still flows richly in my direction.
Walking with me today were my mom, Tracy, and Jordan. We traveled 3.2 miles together and joined upwards of 1,000 people in pink and white shirts. We saw women and men and babies and kids. We saw bald heads and short hairstyles like my own. We saw survivors and their friends and family members. We saw a network of strength and power and unity.
My strength comes from my own personal network of supporters and caregivers. My boys — John, Joey & Danny — who were in my audience today and are with me for every moment on this journey. My mom, Tracy, and Jordan — my female companions on this ride. My family and friends who lift my spirits, brighten my days, and endlessly motivate me.
Raising $3,310 is not my own accomplishment, although I was rewarded for it today. This success belongs to so many other people. And the American Cancer Society is not the only beneficiary. I am too. This financial gift is a tangible indicator of all the love and support I have circling me each day. And for that, I am truly grateful.