Monday, September 12, 2011

Tag along - SF 2011 3 day - Day 3

We were tag alongs. Not exactly supposed to be walking with the walkers.

Our money is going to the DC walk.

There are people who walk in multiple walks for Susan G Komen. In order to officially walk in these you need to have earned at least $2300 per event. There are walker stalkers, who hop from point to point on the route, but if they walk with the walkers at all in would be for a block or two. There are security and liability issues to having folks just join in.

But Patti and I knew this was not our walk. We packed out own supplies, lunch, electrolytes and such. We did use the potties... and some of the water. But when someone asked us if we were doing the closing ceremony with them, I immediately reassured them we would not even go near the finish. It was their walk.

And as we walked... we met people, and heard their stories.

We saw familiar faces from the last 2 SF walks. Saw those great San Jose police who on their day off, come and escort these walkers up and down hills, through cities and down bike lanes, all with that wonderful uplifting support that you so value during a 60 mile walk.

We met a young couple on their honeymoon.
He had "Just" on his back and she had "Married"
Even their tent at camp had JUST MARRIED on it....

We saw the people from Mill Valley come and cheer at Strawberry Point School.

A little girl on her birthday volunteering with Mom. The crowd sang her "Happy Birthday" and she blushed and hid her head!

There were two people in wheelchairs that I saw. They did almost the entire walk.

This gal asked me if the Tiburon bike path was assessable. I was proud to let her know it was. Her friend seemed to be holding her hand the entire walk.

The cheerers in Sausalito were awesome! This was a real improvement over last year. Lots of folks and all very enthusiastic.

I love these little kids with their signs.

"I am a Breast Man and have been since I was born."

And who doesn't love a guy who can have fun?!

San Jose Police stopped on Bridgeway at Taste of Rome for lunch.

Pit stops in pretty locations like the park in downtown Sausalito

All the walkers talk about the dreaded hill to the bridge.

On East you could see people starting to anticipate the climb.

Their lunch stop was at Fort Baker.

We walked in and then...

Had some hydration at the Presidio Yacht Club.

Patti posed with one of the safety monitor's bikes.

And Patti and I posed at the bridge...

The climb starts...

Even though I have done this so many times, it is still challenging for me. I can only imagine what it feels like to a person from say.... Florida.

Near the top you are welcomed ...

Patti and I both got hugs from the "Grope your wife" guy.

Looking back down on the walkers walking up the hill...

Last year the bridge was so foggy you could see beyond a few feet in front of you. The walk over today was stunningly beautiful.

Crossing the bridge is Patti's least favorite part of this entire walk. The noise, the tourists, the bikes... Luckily most of the bikes are now on the other side and many of the tourists are gone.

Me and Patti....

Patti in her hat on the bridge.

Once over the bridge people were waiting to congratulate some of the walkers.

And we stood in line for the potties.

This was 9/11 - the 10th anniversary of the tragic day we will never forget.

About twice as many people died on 9/11 as walked in this walk. Many took the time to create shirts that honored the fallen that day. All were walking because one woman dies every 60 seconds from Breast Cancer.

While standing in one of these pit stop lines, I heard a soft voice say "Congratulations on your 16 years - that's wonderful.'

I turned to see a young woman, maybe 28 or 30. She said "I just started my journey."

I asked her when she was diagnosed and she told me it was this year. I asked about her treatment and she said she had just finished 10 months of chemo and was now taking hormone type drugs and an injection once a week and then she said " I am stage 4 "

There is no stage 5

I put my arms around her and whispered to her "Never stop believing"

Then I looked her in the eye and said "You will be the one we will be talking about 10 years from now. You are going to beat this."

If there was ever a time in which it all becomes clear WHY I do this walk it was that.

Here is this young girl looking for hope. We can give her that hope.

She is not the only one. Patti's sister-in-law was diagnosed the day before. She is waiting to hear from the Doctors what treatment they will recommend. Patti and I are walking because we want the treatment to be a cure.

In 11 days we will be standing at Nationals Stadium in Washington DC waiting to start our 60 mile journey. Your support, just like every step, gets us closer to a cure.

I hope you can donate...