Community

3-Day Walk for the Cure Takes Central Ladies to Florida

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Submitted by Denise Giles

On October 29-31, Central residents, Denise and Robin Giles, participated in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure in Tampa Bay, FL.  The event, as it says, is a 3 day event where participants walk 60 miles over 3 days and must raise a minimum of $2,300 each.  Robin had tossed around the idea of participating for several years and finally decided that after turning 30 this year, it was time to stop talking and start doing.  It took a lot of convincing from Robin, but Denise decided a few months later to participate as well.  When they worried “What if I can’t do this?” they encouraged each other and themselves by saying, “…but, what if I can?!”  This was an amazing experience for this mother/daughter team that required a lot of hard work and perseverance.  They began training in July, when the south Louisiana heat indexes were over 100 degrees, but this did not stop them from setting out for long walks every weekend for over 16 weeks.  Each participant is given a suggested training regimen, which they followed as closely as possible, despite summer vacations and normal life activities.  These training walks became precious time for the two strengthen their already strong relationship with each other and with God.  Creative fundraisers, a garage sale and donations from friends and family helped Robin and Denise raise over $5,000 combined for Susan G. Komen.  The event in Tampa Bay raised over $4.5 million to be used for breast cancer research, outreach and education programs.  The 3 day journey began on the early Friday morning of October 29 where an emotional opening ceremony celebrated the lives of those who have survived breast cancer and remembered those who lost their hard fought battles.  Overnight was spent at camp with the other 1,700 walkers and over 300 crew members, amongst endless rows of pink tents, hot meals, entertainment, hot showers in huge tractor/trailers and more port-a-potties than anyone wants to imagine.  They decorated their tent with pink ribbons strung together on twine, each naming friends and family members who had been faced with this terrible disease. The route varied daily, bringing the walkers through several towns in the Tampa Bay area near beaches, through neighborhoods and business districts.  Each day hundreds of local residents and businesses gave much needed support with encouraging words, bathroom access, water, treats and popcicles.  This was, at times, the things that kept the two going, when the heat and exhaustion made them want to pack it up and head to a hotel.  On the third day after completing the 60 mile journey, Robin and Denise walked across the finish line arm-in-arm with tears in their eyes.  No words can describe the sense of pride and accomplishment they felt after participating in what is known as the boldest initiative in working towards a world without breast cancer.  They had such a wonderful experience during this 3 Day Walk for the Cure that they have already decided to participate again in 2011. They would like to thank all of their friends and family members who supported them financially, emotionally and mentally throughout this journey.  Denise and Robin hope that others will join them next year in this amazing experience.  Information about this event can be found online at www.the3day.org.

 

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