Sheri Phillips, is a Doctor, a mother, a past walker and the National spokesperson for Susan G Komen for the Cure. This is her first year in this position. She wears a black glove, not for fashion reasons, but because she suffers and many survivors do, from lymphodema. The glove she has decorated with rhinestones in the shape of a breast cancer ribbon. The condition makes flying painful, and many like Sheri would have a swollen arm 24/7 without it. It is I suspect a constant reminder that they faced Cancer.
I also met the other 7 survivors who were going to participate in the ceremonies. These women GOT how really incredible the moment was. They each, I am sure, at one time or the other, in a secret spot in the hearts, felt a moment like this would never happen (even participating in the walk). There was a woman who remembered that it would be 3 years exactly (on the first day of the walk) that she had made a long drive to tell her son, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Then there was the pink haired spark plug who last year, was in the midst of treatment for her Cancer. She was spared Chemotherapy because of a diagnostic test developed through funding from Susan G Komen that let her know the chances of her Cancer returning would allow her living with a double mastectomy, hormonal drugs and radiation. She signed up to this walk within months after she was diagnosed. And the other woman who sported some pink in her hair who has had the Cancer return twice so far. My survival of 16 years, meant something to them. It made me feel like the length of my survival served a purpose.
We were able to hear the words we would hear at the opening, which was a good thing. It would certainly be moving enough with just the words, but with thousands of people looking up at us, they might easily become overwhelming.
On that stage you can't have any doubt you are surrounded by powerful woman.
Our next stop was to Dupont Circle to carbo load before the walk. Allison had picked out a great little spot off a side street. We met up with Patti and the Bryants (who had gone to an art exhibit). We had a multiple purpose, birthday celebrations, anniversary celebration and walk preparation.
Common wisdom may have called for a slightly different menu (sans wine) but we allowed ourselves enough for a toast.
After dinner the next "chore" was to take metro back to Northern Virginia to try and sleep before our 4:30 wake up call.