Walk For The Cure Supported By Thousands
October, 2009 | by John Siebenthaler: photos©john siebenthalercontent creation and management
(ST. PETERSBURG, FL) My new Best Friend Doris From Connecticut parachuted into town on a smoldering hot 2009 Halloween weekend, clanging the hell out of her cowbell to help scare away breast cancer in support of over 1,500 marchers on a 60-mile mission. Doris had her story to tell. Everyone had their story to tell. The common thread: tears, and a question. Why?
The event that happened to coincide with All Saints Day, the end of Daylight Savings Not Time, a fabulous record-setting Florida — Georgia game and what many think was the last day of a particularly oppressive summer was the fifth annual Susan Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure enduro hike throughout Pinellas County.
This was the second time the odyssey passed by our home. It was the first time I got involved, by the simple and primitive last-minute act of hanging a garden hose over the backyard fence so walkers could briefly cool down as they streamed by at a steady four miles per hour, enroute towards completing day two of three and another 20 miles. You’d have thought I set up an open mojito bar, nachos and a whirlpool; the net result was a minimal splash of water for the participants, and a very humbling experience for me as I marked their progress by listening to their profuse thanks time and again.
What I learned from watching these fervent supplicants spread their message of hope in a self-sponsored, grueling trudge back and forth along the steaming sidewalks and sauna-esque streets of central West Coast Florida was that altruism has a theme. It’s pink — fueled by passion and driven by desire.