Today was the first day of Calgary's second annual "Weekend to End Breast Cancer", and over 2000 Calgarians put on pink and took to the streets to walk 60 km over two days, raising funds for research, screening programs and other projects aimed at ending breast cancer.
The route came within a block of our house and all morning and into the afternoon while we were out working in the trailer we could hear the triumphant shouts of the walkers, and many horns encouraging them on. When we went out at about 4:00 for supplies we saw many walkers, in pink shirts, pink hats, or sporting pink ribbons. Along the route home owners had tied huge pink ribbons in trees and shrubs, and put up signs supporting the walkers.
Police attended each intersection where the walkers crossed. The "Booby Mobile", a mini van festooned in pink and with a huge pink bra attached to the front, cruised the route, and decorated motorcycles acommpanied the walkers. It looked to me as if anyone needed a fill-up on the water bottle or band aids for her blisters, they weren't far away.
Today's walk will cover 35 km, and the participants will bed down at the old army base in tents before starting off to finish the last 25 km of the walk tomorrow. Many of the women have been training for months, as this is a very long walk! They take pledges and some raise an astonishing amount of money. One of Ian's friends has raised over $3600 in pledges. The total so far exceeds $6 Million!
What courage these women have! Everyone who saw them seemed in awe of their determination and spirit. I've lost a couple of friends to breast cancer, both of whom were young women who should have had decades left to spend with their families. Two other friends battle breast cancer now, and everyone can probably say the same. It has touched us all, if not directly then through friends and family.
So, prayers for the tired feet, the blisters, the aching bodies which will lie down tonight and get up tomorrow to walk again. Hope and courage are the two mainstays of womankind, and our strongest binding force.