Hi, it’s Taylor, a member of the Team 9/64 Avon Walk Team. When I first committed to participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer back in February I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve walked in charitable events before, I’ve fundraised for various organizations, I’m even in charge of all our Cause Marketing efforts at work; so in my mind this event was another no-brainer, piece-of-cake walk that I would gladly be a part of. Well now 7 months later, let me tell you that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This event is unlike anything I have ever been a part of before. For starters, in what other event do you have to raise a minimum of $1,800 just to be allowed to walk? No event I’ve ever been a part of, I can assure you that. Raising that amount of money has been the first unexpected challenge I’ve encountered throughout this process and it’s one I’m still facing 47 days out from the event.
It’s so easy to tell someone we’ll donate to their cause, but when it comes down to making that contribution or buying a new outfit, unfortunately most times it’s the outfit that wins. As a 24 year old, most of my friends are on very limited budgets and pinching pennies wherever they can, so donating to a walk just isn’t at the top of their list. Raising $1,800 seemed so simple at the time, but it’s proving to be much more challenging than I had planned on. It is an obstacle that’s in my way, but the simple fact that 80% of the money we raise stays local--80% will help the fight for friends and family around me that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, makes overcoming that obstacle and raising the money that much more important.
The other challenge I’m facing for this walk is the walking itself. Having been a NCAA Division 1 runner, the thought that walking 39.3 miles may be a tad difficult never crossed my mind. Until I actually started training. It was a rude awakening and very humbling experience to realize that being a college athlete had zero impact on being able to complete a walk like this. Now that we are a little over a month away from the walk the training mileage is really starting to pick up and it’s no easy feat to squeeze in hours of walking into a busy week. But I refuse to let that be an excuse and instead view it as another challenge for me to overcome.
This entire event is a challenge, but it’s also been one of the most inspiring and rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of (and I haven’t even walked yet!). I have faced more difficult challenges than I was prepared for at the time I signed up and it hasn’t been nearly as easy as I’d hoped. Regardless of how hard it is though, it’s not something I can give up on.
The people I’m walking for can’t simply give up on cancer just because it’s hard. They can’t stop treatment just because it isn’t quite as easy as they may have originally thought. As someone in a position to help, it’s my job to make sure the funds are raised and the miles are walked.
So now I challenge you to get involved with this amazing event! Whether it’s with a donation or joining a team, every little bit helps and impacts a woman with breast cancer. It’s easy to push something like this aside, to say that we’ll get to it later because we’re just too busy right now. I can assure you that we’re all too busy, but we should never be so busy that we can’t help save a woman’s life.
Challenge yourself to make that commitment. Even my 76 year old grandmother is flying in to participate in the walk with my mom and me. I’m so in awe of her dedication and willpower that she’s willing to take on this challenge in such a big way. If she can do, can’t you?
Please take 5 minutes and donate to my cause or even join our fight. You won’t regret it. The more of us who walk, the more of us survive.