As any woman can tell you, nothing is more crucial for perky boobs than good support. Last weekend it seemed the whole city of Chicago turned out to provide that support – for breast cancer research.
It was an absolutely beautiful day when I hit the city around 9 Sunday morning with my daughter Gwen; sunny, clear, blue skies that warmed to a high of 80 by afternoon. I thought Chicago had never looked lovelier as I drove along Lake Shore Drive in the clean morning air. I was soon to discover her beauty is more than skin deep.
The windy city raised more than $6.3 million during the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Each walker had to get at least $1800 in donations before he or she could cover the grueling 39.3-mile course, torture akin to being stretched on the rack. More than 2800 dedicated men and women rose to the challenge over the 2-day period.
Gwen and I came to cheer on a couple of very special walkers: my cousin Maureen and her daughter Meg.
Moe is an 8-year breast cancer survivor. She has been through the wringer with cancer and a litany of related health problems that would have knocked a lesser woman to the ground. Yet Moe has come through the ordeal with a grace, spirit and humor few can match. She has been an educator, a mentor and a friend to many other women who have been forced to walk this thorny path, and I admire her tremendously.
Moe’s husband, Paul, and 3 teenage daughters are her biggest supporters. They were all on hand to cheer on the walkers, along with my aunt and uncle, my cousin Kathy and her hubby Gary – even their dog Archie doled out spirits-lifting cuteness!
Nobody knew Gwen and I were coming. We decided to surprise them by showing up at the “cheer station” in Lincoln Park. I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to find them in the crowds, but thank goodness I had a good idea what they would be wearing – pink. The hard part was finding a parking spot. ($21 for 3 hours? Really? Shame on you, Chicago!)
I didn’t know what to expect. I thought we were going to sit around in lawn chairs drinking a few cold ones until Moe, Meg and their friends trotted by, then cheer them on. Au contraire. There was work to be done.
As each wave of walkers crossed the street and passed by, the family cheered. They hooted and clapped, hollering “Thank you for walking” and “you can do it!” The exhausted, pasty faces brightened right up at the cheering support.
My Aunt Carol and Uncle John are firmly in the “think young, keep active” crowd, but they’re not spring chickens anymore. That didn’t stop them from giving 110%. They brought 10 pounds of hard candy and mints and stood at the side of the sidewalk, offering their baskets to the drooping walkers. Uncle John added a high five and a cheesy joke – no extra charge. Seeing them standing for hours in the hot sun to raise the sagging spirits of the walkers was incredibly inspiring.
Moe’s husband Paul wore his signature pink hair and waved a sign proudly announcing his wife was an 8-year survivor.
Most people walked in groups, many sporting custom-made t-shirts. Some carried signs or wore angel wings. You couldn’t help but be touched by the poignancy of messages that told whom the person was walking for. Signs like, “In memory of my mom”.
Many women sported bandanas or peach-fuzzy heads that attested they were walking for their very lives. There were lots of tears, but lots of laughs as well, from titters to guffaws.
It seemed more than coincidence that the fruits of such labors of love were being harvested just blocks away from the Avon Walk. The American Society of Clinical Oncology met in Chicago the same weekend to keep abreast of the latest news. Scientists there presented the results of a promising new study that has shown some success with a new drug treatment for breast cancer.
Are you inspired to get your knockers up?
Just go the Avon Walk website and find out how you can get involved. They have walks scheduled in a number of major cities, so there may be one near you. Or you can let your fingers do the walking – to click on the donation button. Do it for someone you admire. If you don’t know anybody with breast cancer, feel free to be inspired by my cousin, Moe.
Donating to this worthy cause is sure to give your spirits, as well as some very special boobs, a welcome lift.
Chicago, I’ll see you next year. Ta ta!