Working alongside my co-workers at Longs for 28 years, we have always been encouraged to give back . We have been part of the Jimmy Fund walk as long as I can remember and have supported walkers by manning a water station in Natick Centre on the day of the walk so that walkers have a place to stop and get a drink or a snack, take a breath, tie their shoes or adjust socks and give hugs maybe to family members that are there to cheer them on. It has always been a good feel day and at the end of the day you never think about the fact that you were up before dawn, that it might be cold, or rainy windy and you had to stand outside. All you think about is the face of the walkers, the energy they create as they hit our water station which is the 10.2mile mark and you look at those faces some older, and some much younger than you, some tired yet striving to keep walking and some that are so pumped to just move and you realize that there is a story behind each face. A story that is inspiring and hopeful but also stories of sadness and loss. And you know that standing there cheering these walkers on means something. You know that it is worth so much more than just standing there cheering or handing out water or a snack. There is so much gratitude from these walkers, and you feel such emotion as you stand there knowing that ringing that cowbell hard and loud or chanting "thank you for walking" till your throat is scratchy and dry, so that they can hear you across the street as they are walking toward you will make just a little more difference in their walk, their cause and their story.
Since my two boys were 4 and 6 I had them come with me. They never once said to me why do I have to go? They got it, even in their innocent young years they understood. When my youngest was 15 he said I want to walk, the next year he did with 11 of his friends, the following year he did with 14 of his friends. These boys who could have been doing anything else but this on a Sunday in September all agreed there was nothing they would rather be doing. They knew the time commitment, the anguish of being sore and tired after, the fundraising efforts and they still said, this was the best feel good thing they had ever done.
The boys are off to college this year and life is very different,. For the first year in so long we will not manning a water station. My boy won't be walking. So I am walking. I will not do 26.2miles but will walk as long as I can, I will remember past years of all those faces and I will keep the tradition going of Long's being a part of the Jimmy Fund. I had a friend die this year of melanoma and it hit me hard, harder than I expected it ever to and I will walk for her and for a cause I believe in so greatly.
When you make a gift to my walk, you’re directly supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s unique 50-50 balance between cutting-edge science and highly compassionate cancer care. Your support allows Dana-Farber leaders to enhance programs and initiatives that serve pediatric and adult patients and their families.
Thank you for supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can conquer cancer!