Saturday, September 10, 2011

Purple Shirts

Yesterday was the first day of the San Francisco Susan G Komen 3 day walk. It felt a little odd not to be walking with them. Patti and I volunteered to help out at camp last night as a way to stay involved in the SF walk.

We left early for our 5:30 shift since traffic over the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island would certainly be horrible on a Friday. We left so early, we had NO TRAFFIC and arrived at 3:30. When we got to camp (which they set up in the middle if the Island) we checked in and got our purple volunteer shirts. A very few walkers had already arrived but most were still making their way across SF to the ferry for a ride to the island.

They had started in the early morning hours in S. San Francisco at the Cow Palace. They walked pretty much the same route we had walked the last two years, by Lake Merced, to the ocean, up and over Lands End. But they detoured then down through he Marina to Fisherman's Wharf to the Ferry.

This new camp location has an advantage... wineries are in sight of the camp! Since were were early Patti and I did a quick wine tasting before heading over to help with dinner.

At camp they had all the tents for services set up on one field and the tents, shower trucks etc set up on another field.

New Balance is one of the sponsors and this year they set up a big tent to thank the walking leader who did the most walks. It had a double bed (off the ground) and two chairs with beverage holders in it.

Our job was to direct people to the food tent. So I would call out "Dinner! Dinner! Whose Hungry!" The walkers as they approached were walking that slow, tired, tight walk of post day 1. Some people were limping, but most were just a little slow. So I yelled Dinner for a long time! I also yelled "Winner Winner Pasta Dinner!"

I snapped a few pictures of walkers....

And the food line and some of the crew.

And of course Patti!

The one thing you notice at this event is how overwhelmingly optimistic and positive people are. You ask a limping person how they are doing and it is very rarely a complaint. It's "I'm doing okay, its getting better." One person told me "it's nothing compared to cancer."

There was a ton of appreciative comments from the walkers. I recognized some of the crew from the past two years. The dancing check in girl, the "grope your wife" crossing guy. There were friends walking together. A youth group giving out trays to carry the food. There were fathers and daughters. Brothers and sisters. There were people walking by themselves. All glad to be there on the windy cold evening. All knowing they make a difference.

Patti let me know her sister was diagnosed with Breast Cancer just yesterday. It all matters. I spoke to a woman who lost her mother 34 years ago to Breast Cancer and she described the horrible pain she endured through the treatment and the disease. I spoke to another person who was a recent survivor and feels as though she is giving back.

Tomorrow is 9/11. Its is a day of remembrance. It is a day to honor survivors and those people who support them. I find it very apropos that is also the final day of the Susan G Komen Sf 3 day for the Cure. Many walkers will be sporting American flags as they walk remembering those who lost their lives not just from a terrorist attack but from another terrorist, Breast Cancer.

Patti and I will be walking most of the final day with the walkers after cheering for them in Tiburon. You are welcome to join us at the Alain Pinel cheering station near town on the bike path. You can't miss us. BIG white and black tent, pink boas and American Flags.

I am $811 from my goal of $15,000 and ever dollar gets us closer to our common goal, a world without Breast Cancer.