For the past 13 or so years, I have been participating in the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk for a Cure. Every May, the first Saturday in May, I lace up my running shoes and head for Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. The whole reason I walk has evolved over the years. At first it was just to be with a friend – to giggle and chat around the lake. And then some more friends joined in – to giggle and chat around the lake. It was a reason to have a sleepover and wake up early to hang out at Lake Calhoun with free food (breakfast and lunch), music by a local radio station that plays teeny-bopper-hip-hop music like Justin Bieber, free give-a-ways from Children’s Hospital, the U of M, Chevrolet, etc. and features appearances by TC (the Twins mascot) and the Vikings cheerleaders (we all know how I feel about cheerleaders, so you can read into this statement as much as you like).
The person I walk for is no longer a little kid. She’s graduating from high school this June. Ready to head off to college in the fall. She has Cystic Fibrosis. And she’s amazing. Her strength and determination to not only survive, but thrive with this nasty disease is inspiring. She maintains a social calendar filled with activities and pursues athletic endeavors that deserve a round of applause. I’m privileged to know her. To walk in her honor. To raise support money to one day find a cure for CF. That’s why I walk.
There are a lot of causes (medical and beyond) that tug at my heart. A lot of things I support. A lot of people who continue to suffer from non-curable diseases. I wish I could help them all. But I can’t. So I do my part for those I can.
That’s why I walk. Despite the incredible wind force blowing off Lake Calhoun creating massive white caps more likely to be spotted on Gull, the weather man said 41 mph, I smiled the entire walk. Because I saw the hope the kids and teens and parents had twinkling in their eyes. The hope that one day Cystic Fibrosis will be curable.
That’s why I walk.