The heat was oppressive, and although it may have challenged some people's resolve, it didn't break their common Mission to END BREAST CANCER. On this first day, as temperatures rose to double digit's and the humidity rose with it, it was becoming an unsafe situation. The walk was shortened and the day abbreviated. Walkers were dehydrated, and most likely some had lost some of their emotional energy in these conditions. But their commitment didn't falter.
On day 2, the day began with a brief thunderstorm. Surely these Cancer warriors must have rolled their eyes as the began a day that they could only imagine would be challenging, albeit cooler. There is a hill on day 2 in Boston called the Belmont Hill, people say it's a pretty tough hill as Boston Hills go. As they trudged up they were handed water by supporters (even in the rain). Then at the top of the hill, they saw her.
Later that night at camp people talked about this girl on Belmont Hill. Jim asked if anyone knew who she was, but no one did. The 1700 walkers who each started this walk with their own reasons, had another reason to continue the fight. A ripple went out from the little girls tears and it ran across everyone in Boston.
Jim posted the girl's picture on Facebook trying to find out who she was. There were no answers but the wave was growing.
After the walk, Jim and Kristina got to work. they started contacting whomever they thought would help. The 3 day community united in their effort to help this girl on Belmont Hill. One of those Jim contacted was one of his new 3 day friends from Boston, Paul Young. Paul is in the insurance business and worked to get the family adopted by his office. Jim got a list of things they may need including some home repairs. Around Christmas time when Paul went over to the home he noticed space heaters everywhere. The furnace didn't work. He reached out to the community and they answered. By Christmas the sisters had safe heat and some much need Christmas gifts to celebrate. The tear drops had become a Maverick wave.
Today Zoie is 10. She knows that although her Mother is gone, she is surrounded by a world of love and care. Had it not been for the 3 day, none of this would have happened. Each and every person who sees Zoie, or others like her, on the 3 day is reminded we all have our scars from this horrible disease and most of of them are not physical. Most are deep in your heart and soul. But somehow KNOWING you can do something about that is so very healing to all of us. Knowing the 75% of the net proceeds we raise goes to research that will END this disease, and the other 25% goes to the community who needs it, gives us comfort, hope and power we would not have any other way. By putting our feet where our hearts are, we can physically make that statement with every step.
We can END Breast Cancer.
Zoie saw that. Zoie felt that.
This year in Boston, Zoie and her sister Erin are applying to be Youth Corp members. Those beautiful gold shirted kids who cheer us on, who help us out at camp, and remind us this walk is for them perhaps even more than it is for us.
The Maverick wave is now a Tsunami. And you know what???
Breast Cancer is no match for a Tsunami....
So when you hear people say, we could do without the 3 day. I could just donate my money to another organization, please remember Zoie and how this community made such a difference in her life. How many other stories like Zoie's will not be able to be told without your support.
There's something to be said for boots on the ground or sneakers on the Hills of Belmont and little girls tears.
I am asking for your continued support.