Missing It

Jan. 5th, 2013 04:49 pm
ladysprite: (Default)
I know it swallowed immense chunks of my time, both in planning, prepping, and in the actual execution. I know that it meant that, for three years, my summer wasn't quite my own. I know that I said I was ready to move on and find new ways to make the world better. I know that it's a crazy amount of work, and that my friends are rather tired of being begged for money.

But still, every time I hear a commercial for the 3 Day, I remember what it felt like to be part of such a huge, world-changing event and I want to do it again, and it takes all of my resolve not to sign up for this year's walk....
ladysprite: (Default)
So this past weekend was the Susan G. Komen 3 Day For The Cure. It happened, it was by turns amazing and challenging and hot and cold and windy and rainy and fun and heart-wrenching, as always, and, as always, I am so incredibly glad that I did it.

We were lucky; for the most part the rain held off until within a mile or so from camp every day, so we didn't have to hike too far in it. On the other hand, I hope to never again have to deal with flash floods while camping - while I am strong and tough and sturdy, I am also highly vulnerable to cold. On the other hand, [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I made it every single step of those 60 miles - no skipping sections, no getting sidelined, and (unlike last time) no emergency trips to the hospital.

I've written about the entire 3 Day experience before, so I won't go into that much detail again. I'll just say that it was still a world-changing experience, and that I loved every foot-pounding, leg-straining mile of it. I loved meeting people who came to the area just to walk, and telling them about my hometown. I loved hugging strangers who came out to support us, and I loved the little 3-year-old girl in a pink princess dress who was out on her lawn playing a plastic trumpet every time a walker crossed the street to get to her. I loved giving away my last bandana to a heckling bicyclist on Mass Ave who, after laughing at some cheerers, made the mistake of saying that of course he'd wear pink, if only he HAD any. I loved getting to carry a flag, if only for a mile or two, and I loved realizing how much faster the walk goes when you wind up joining a group who are singing their way along the route.

There are so many moments I want to keep in my mind that I could be here for pages listing them all, but there's something more important I want to say. I was incredibly lucky this year to have an outpouring of support unlike anything I've ever seen before, and that helped make this the epic and positive experience that it was. I asked you all to donate, and you did; I asked you all to write to me.... and you did.

When all was said and done, Team SHADOW raised a total of $10,270. I still can't quite believe that. We set ourselves a ludicrous, pie-in-the-sky goal.... and we passed it. That's ridiculous - and that's not us; that's you. We just walked. You guys did the heavy lifting there, and I will never forget that.

And thank you so, so, so very much to everyone who sent me letters and presents in camp, and who came out to cheering stations. Having your words waiting for me at the end of the day, and seeing your faces along the route, were welcome surprises that helped me remember that I wasn't doing this alone, or with one other friend - that I am part of a community that loves me and cares about me, and wishes me well.

Ultimately, the biggest realization that I took home from this year's event was how lucky I am to be able to be a part of it. Lucky to live in a city that hosts it, to have a friend who suggested it, to be strong and able enough to participate in it, to have a schedule and the free time to devote to it, to have the social resources to do the necessary fundraising, and to have a support structure that carries me through the rough and challenging spots so seamlessly that it never quite feels impossible.

There was a little girl - maybe 8 years old - out cheering on the route, Sunday afternoon about 3/4 of a mile from the end, holding a sign that said "You Are My HEROES." And all I can think is, while that may be the case, all of you are my heroes, because you made it possible for me to do this, and for that I can never thank you enough.
ladysprite: (Default)
Tomorrow morning, at an ungodly early hour, I will leave my house and head out to Framingham to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day For the Cure. This will be my third year taking part in the event, my second time walking.

I've spent the past year fundraising and planning, the past 3 months training and doing practice walks, and the past week packing and getting supplies ready. Now all I need to do is manage to get some semblance of sleep tonight, and then get out there and walk 60 miles. Such an easy thing to say.

There's been a lot of mixed press on the subject of Komen this year, but ultimately, I'm still glad beyond compare to be participating. This is a cause that matters deeply to me, and always will. And I'm glad to help raise funds to make things better for people I love, and I'm glad to raise awareness, and I'm enough of an earthy-crunchy woo-woo sort to believe that there is some ritual magic significance to the walk itself. This will be my last year taking part in the 3 Day - I'm ready to move on and find new awesome things to do with my life and to make the world better - but it will always rank as one of the things I'm most proud to have accomplished.

And I couldn't have done it without the help of so many people. [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I set a pretty ludicrous fundraising goal, and with the help of all of my friends and loved ones, we raised nearly $10,000.

Two people. Almost ten thousand dollars. I still can't believe that. Thank you so very amazingly much to every single person who donated, and to everyone who sent me well-wishes, reassurance, and support, who went walking with me, and who has listened to me babble about this over the past year.

For Jane. For Susan. For everyone I know who's fighting now, or who has fought it and won. And in the hopes that someday no one will have to fight this battle again....
ladysprite: (Default)
It's a little more than a month, now, until the 3 Day. Thanks to so many people, most of them reading this, I have hit my absurdly unreasonable fundraising goal. I have no words for how grateful and happy I am, and how much this means to me.

Now the planning is over, and it's time for actual prep work. I have new sneakers, and I've started to break them in with practice walks whenever possible - I'm up to about 11 miles; it shouldn't be too hard to work up from there to the full 20 miles. I've already got the equipment I need, from previous years doing the walk. I'm waiting for dyes to show up in the mail to make t-shirts for myself, [livejournal.com profile] tpau, and the ever-wonderful [livejournal.com profile] mermaidlady. There's not much more to do, now.

Well, there is one more thing that can be done. I know a lot of people who wanted to help, or show their support, but for one reason or another couldn't donate - either because the economy is lousy, or they put their financial efforts towards other charities, or because they feel that they couldn't ethically support Susan G. Komen. If that's the case - or if you donated but still want to help - here's what you can do:

Send me a letter. Walking the 3 Day, I'll be *literally* on the road all day for three days, and in camp at night. I'll be more or less out of contact with my friends, my loved ones, and the outside world. And while this can be a good thing in many ways, being able to have words of support can mean a lot. So the 3 Day allows letters to be delivered to walkers during the event. If you want to write to me - send me a note, or a postcard, or a card - the address to send things to is:

Susan G. Komen 3 Day
ATTN: Rebecca K. (full last name needed, comment if you don't know it and I'll email it to you)
P.O. Box 180129
Boston, MA 02118

If you're local, [livejournal.com profile] umbran will also be organizing a group to go to cheering stations on the Saturday of the walk (July 28) - he'll post more details closer to the event, but if you're interested in showing up and cheering us on, let him or me know.

And most of all, thank you all so much. Letters or no, donations or no, just knowing that I have the support of so many people makes all the difference in the world.
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
http://www.the3day.org/goto/drbecky2012

I'm walking next month. Not because I have strong feelings about Susan G. Komen, not because this charity or this cause is more deserving than any other, but because, damnit, it's SOMETHING I can do when it feels like there's no other way to help or make a difference.

And it'd really mean a lot to me if I could reach my fundraising goal this year. I'm close - incredibly, surprisingly close, closer than I thought I'd get - but if I can make it all the way there, it'd be good. I know it's not magic; raising some arbitrary amount of money doesn't magically guarantee that Everything Will Be Okay, but there's still a part of me that *feels* like that.

My goal is to raise $5000. I'm almost there. So, here goes. I'm going to be making some t-shirts to wear during the walk. [livejournal.com profile] umbran has taught me how to tie-dye, and if I have to wear pink I'm darn well going to make it a spiffy pink tie-dyed t-shirt, rather than some heinous neon atrocity. And for the donor who puts me at or over my goal, I'll make you a matching shirt. You can be an honorary teammate, and wear your colors in solidarity - or not, you know, if pink isn't your thing. But still, special handmade 'Spritewear, unique, made just for you.

Please. And even if you can't give enough to put me at my goal, every dollar - every little bit - helps.
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
So, as I noted in my last post, spring is well and truly here. And that means summer isn't too far behind. And with summer comes the 3 Day walk.

I'm already starting to prepare. I've started doing practice walks, I'm getting new sneakers this weekend so I can start to break them in, and, as weird as this may sound, I've started doing my thinking and meditation.

I've got a new plan I'd like to try to implement this time - it's an idea I got from my tango instructor; it's something she does when she walks, and when she told me about it it resonated pretty deeply with me. When I walk this year, I'm going to carry the names of everyone I'm walking for as I go. And this includes the loved ones of anyone who donated to my walk.

So, if you've made a donation to my walk, and if there's someone special in whose honor or memory you donated, please let me know, either here or by email. I'd like to add their names to my list, as a reminder of all the reasons I work and walk, and I'd like to honor them.

And, last but by all means not least, I need to finish my fundraising. I'm so close to my goal, but I'm not there yet. Please, please - I know funds are tight for everyone right now, but if you have any money to spare, and want to help, it would mean the world to me.
http://www.the3day.org/goto/drbecky2012

If you can't donate yourself but know someone else who can, please feel free to pass on the link. I've come so far, with the help and support of my friends and family, and I would hate to fall down this close to my goal....

Better Days

Feb. 3rd, 2012 12:58 pm
ladysprite: (Default)
Behold the power of the internet, and righteous ire - Susan G. Komen has reversed their decision to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood, and apologized for their decision.

I am still saddened that the decision was made in the first place, and hope that the person responsible will be removed, but I am so, so very glad to hear that they changed their policy, and did so this quickly. Thank you to everyone who spread the word, signed petitions, donated, and wrote letters; and I hope that word of the reversal spreads as quickly.

More details here....
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
So, the news of Susan G. Komen's recent decision to stop sending funds to Planned Parenthood is all over my social media right now, and I'm being swamped by people encouraging folks to never donate to them again. And, as a walker, I guess I wanted to share my point of view.

I don't walk for Susan G. Komen. I don't raise funds specifically for Susan G. Komen. I walk for the people I know who have fought against breast cancer, and the people I don't know who have fought against it, and for myself, and my friends. And I raise funds for breast cancer research, and women's health. Because the cause matters in general, not because any one charity matters. And, while Komen made a bad decision here, they still do a lot of good, so far.

I don't agree with Komen's choice or decision. I don't agree with why they made it. And I've signed petitions and sent them statements expressing my opinion. But I will be continuing, at least this year, to participate in the 3 Day Walk. Because I still care about breast cancer, and women's health, and because I still think it's a worthy cause. And I hope, even if people choose not to financially support me in this decision, that my friends and loved ones can at least still respect my choice, and give me their emotional support as I walk.

Awestruck

Jan. 15th, 2012 08:49 pm
ladysprite: (Default)
I am home from Arisia now, and only just starting to recover from the overwhelmingly emotional experience that the charity raffle was.

I spent more or less my entire con at the raffle table, and I don't mind at all - it was kind of nice to sit and watch the world come to me, and we were positioned so that that's exactly what happened. Our raffle table was right at the foot of the escalators that led to the dealer's room, volunteer area, art show, teen lounge, and con suite, so I think that everyone in the con walked past us at one point or another.

[livejournal.com profile] tpau and I set up to start selling raffle tickets around noon on Friday, and for about 3 days straight that's what we did. We sold tickets, and chatted up everyone who walked by. And somehow, our little raffle - my goofy idea that started as a whim a year ago - became something huge. I feel like everyone at the con decided to take part ownership in it, in an awesome way. Not in that they tried to take credit, or take something away from us, but in a way that let everyone be part of something good by joining us.

Dealers saw us, and started running out to ask if they could donate prizes, even before I had the chance to go in and ask. Guests saw us and came hurrying back with autographed copies of their books. The Writer's Workshop decided to use their brainstorming to create another prize. It felt like every time I turned around, there was something new on our table, being added to the list of prizes.

And people bought tickets. And bought tickets. And bought more tickets. We had lines of people waiting to buy, at some points. People bought tickets, called their friends, and then came back for more. And while they were buying tickets they talked to us, and shared their stories about their own histories - fighting cancer, or working in charity, or... just about anything. And then we raffled off our prizes, and got to make people happy by giving them awesome stuff - even if many of them weren't there to hear their name called, there were enough present to make it feel a bit like playing Santa, and the rest were all smiles when they came to pick their prizes up.

I feel more like a part of the Arisia community than I ever have before. I feel exhausted and overwhelmed and a little shell-shocked, but most of all I feel good.

In the end, we sold 5,218 tickets to 376 people - over 10% of the con attendees. And we brought in...

wait for it....

$4000.

In my wildest dreams I imagined MAYBE earning this much. But I acknowledged in my heart of hearts that these were ludicrous, absurd, ridiculous and unrealistic dreams, and that we'd probably honestly make about half that. And here we are. $4000. In 3 days. From a few hundred amazing people.

Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tpau for being my teammate in all this, to [livejournal.com profile] umbran for being my pillar and my support, to [livejournal.com profile] jadasc, [livejournal.com profile] baron_saturday, [livejournal.com profile] dagibbs, and [livejournal.com profile] metaphysick, and to Dan-who-is-not-on-LJ for helping set up, tear down, do data entry, make change, tear tickets, write names over and over again, and generally hug me and keep me sane when sometimes things got a little bit overwhelming.

I think I'm going to collapse now. And maybe cry. In a good way....

Tired

Jan. 11th, 2012 09:49 pm
ladysprite: (MoarCat)
I am really excited about this raffle. I am looking forward to it like whoa. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun, enjoy sitting in one place at the con and making the world come to me, and come out of this whole thing with my faith in humanity restored.

However, right now I am feeling just the teeniest bit overwhelmed.

I have worked my ass off for this event. I have spent entire days walking door to door in different neighborhoods asking for prize donations. My entire library has been turned over to prize storage, and thanks to the gift baskets from Salem, it and my car both smell like (admittedly, clean and floral) hippies. I've spent plenty of my own money on props to help set up the table.

And my to-do list for the next two days is getting a bit crazy. I need to get to the bank for change for the cash box. I need to get to Staples to actually buy more tickets. I need to get posters, and print out certificates for everyone who has donated promissory notes. I need to pack up the prizes. I need to figure out how I'm going to get everything from my car to the table without getting stuff stolen as I make trips back and forth. I need to pack my own damn clothes for the con. I need to.... I know there's other stuff, but I can't think of it right now.

And somewhere in all of this, I need to eat, and maybe sleep, and make it to my doctor's appointments, and at least try to keep up with my workouts and running.

I know I shouldn't complain. I took this on, and it's my responsibility. And I'm glad I'm doing it, and it's going to be awesome, and once it's set up and running I'll be happy as anything. But right now, I'm feeling rather like a very small person trying to lift a very large boulder....
ladysprite: (Default)
Okay - so I've mentioned it here before, but [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I are hosting a charity raffle at Arisia, to help raise funds for our participation in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure.

For those who didn't know the details, Arisia is this coming weekend - Friday through Sunday. We'll be at the con all weekend, and holding the raffle itself on Sunday. So, if you're not going to be at the con and still want to buy tickets, you need to do it by Thursday at the absolute latest.

And you absolutely want to buy tickets. We have a list of prizes that keeps getting bigger and more awesome every day - I just spent today gathering up the latest round of prizes, including some beautiful jewelry and gift baskets from a handful of eclectic stores in Salem - and this is on top of our pre-existing list of gift certificates, CD's, autographed books, jewelry, games, classes, handmade crafts, and dozens of other things (I've listed them all before, I won't bore you by recapping).

Ticket Prices:
1 ticket - $1
6 tickets - $5
13 tickets - $10
30 tickets - $20

Tickets can be purchased by either sending cash or a check to me (through the mail or in person), or via Paypal. Since Paypal does take a cut from each transaction, if you wish to pay via Paypal you do need to purchase a minimum of $10 in tickets.

If you want to purchase tickets, please leave a comment here telling me how many tickets you are purchasing, and how you plan on paying. Send paypal payments to arnis_public*at*comcast.net - or if you want to send a payment in the mail, mention that and I'll send you my address.

If you have any questions, let me know - and if you're coming to Arisia, I'll see you there!
ladysprite: (Default)
The upside of being at one clinic on a semi-regular basis is that I get to know my coworkers a little better. Like when I found out that one of my favorite techs has a husband who's a sushi chef. So, being the shameless charity-pusher that I am, I asked her if the restaurant he works at would be interested in donating a gift certificate or something like that as a raffle prize.

This was a couple of months ago. She said she'd look into it, I gave her a beg letter to pass on to them, and I never heard anything back. Not a problem, I thought; easy come, easy go. And then I found out that the restaurant he works at is a crazy high-end place - the tech in question has mentioned him making food for folks like Taylor Swift and Kevin Bacon - and I figured that's why they blew me off. I haven't had good luck getting overly-fancy places to donate.

And then she texted me last night, letting me know that they did, in fact, want to make a donation, and that it was, in her words, "a lot."

So. O Ya Restaurant will be donating an omakase dinner for two, with drinks (for those like me who aren't familiar with the term, it's the sushi equivalent of a chef's tasting menu). Estimated value $350.00

Holy cow. And Merry Christmas to me. I never expected anything this awesome, and I think, with all due respect to Studio Foglio, we may have a new grand prize.

So if y'all were hesitating on buying raffle tickets, you may want to do so now. Details are about 2 posts below. We've also added more new prizes since then - earrings and a pendant from [livejournal.com profile] starcat_jewel, gift certificates to 3 Trolls Games & Puzzles, and a whole bunch of books.

I have no idea how this has managed to turn into something so huge, and I only hope we manage to sell enough tickets to make it worthwhile, but... wow. You guys, this is epic.
ladysprite: (Default)
I've mentioned before here that [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I, as part of our fundraising for the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure, are hosting a raffle at Arisia this coming January. We've managed to assemble a mighty list of awesome prizes, and any of you who are going to be at the con should definitely come check out our table, and buy tickets!

But for those of you who can't make it to the con, or who just want to be ahead of the curve, I'm selling tickets here and now. So if you're interested, here's the list of prizes so far, and details on ticket-buying.

Hidden, because it's a long list..... )
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
Although the weather has been deceptively mild, I can no longer deny the fact that winter is creeping up on us - and, along with it, all of the holidays that celebrate the season.

So, I have a request for all y'all reading this. If any of you were thinking of giving me a present of any sort - birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, whatever - and you're not sure what to get me? I would love it if you'd donate to support me in the 3 Day.

The walk is still a ways away, but I'm also way behind where I'd like to be on fundraising. And utterly aside from that, I can't think of anything that would make me happier, in this season of dark and cold, to have that reminder of caring and support. I don't need or request gifts of any sort, but if you were already inclined in that direction.... this is what I would like the most.

http://www.the3day.org/goto/drbecky2012

Thanks....
ladysprite: (momongo)
Today's gratitude is for all of the awesome, kind, generous, helpful, supportive, and generally amazing shopkeepers and businesspeople of Salem, Massachusetts.

Given that today was likely to be one of the last nice days of the year, and given that it's getting close (at least, in my timeline) to Arisia and the raffle [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I are running to raise funds for the 3 Day, I spent today wandering the streets of Salem along with my boon companion, lucky charm, and Good Idea Guy [livejournal.com profile] metaphysick, hitting up shops for donations. (And a secondary shout out of gratitude to him, because it was his idea to hunt there.)

For those of you not familiar with Salem, it is a town full of tiny, kitschy, kooky stores, mostly with the word "witch" somewhere in their name, selling exactly the kind of stuff that would be welcome and more at Science Fiction conventions. And, apparently, these stores are almost all owned by generous, easygoing people who will gladly share their wares for a good cause. They also all apparently know each other, leading to suggestions like 'Go to Store X on Y street and don't do your speech. Just tell 'em Lorelai sent you, and they'll listen.'

And while I'm at it, gratitude beyond belief goes to [livejournal.com profile] braider, my deputy at OVFF, who mamaged to come back from that convention with a crazy number of CD prizes - and to all of the artists who donated. And to [livejournal.com profile] tinyplasticmeat for the beautiful cowl and mitts she knitted for the raffle.

At this point, the raffle is gearing up to be something truly epic. I have an entire autographed run of Girl Genius. I have autographed novels, and a box of games from Steve Jackson that, by itself, is worth more than most of my Christmas hauls when I was a kid. The Drum Connection in Arlington has given us a certificate for a doumbek (winner's choice). I have (as noted) a hell of a lot of amazing CD's. I have jewelry and free psychic readings and gift certificates for boutique clothing and jewelry stores and handmade afghans and hand-dyed yarn and free passes to haunted houses and t-shirts and gaming books....

I can't wait to see how this all plays out.

And for those of you who promised to donate prizes, it's getting pretty close to raffle time - especially if you're one of the truly heroic people who offered to make crafty items or jewelry. If you're going to be bringing items to Arisia to donate, please let me know by confirming here; I'm keeping a spreadsheet at this point. And if you're not going to be attending the con, or if you just want to get donations to me beforehand so it's one less thing to keep track of, please either let me know so I can pick things up from you, or send them - I'd hate for things to get delayed by holiday mail busyness and not get here in time. (I will happily send my address to anyone who needs it.)

This is going to be amazing. Thank you all so much....
ladysprite: (MoonSun)


So October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And I'm quite sure that everyone here is already aware of breast cancer, and the impact it's had on many of our lives. And as I've mentioned before, [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I are doing the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure next summer - I'm sure you're all aware of that, too.

But in case you didn't remember, being part of this event means that we need to raise a lot of money over the next several months to help benefit this amazing charity. I need to raise a minimum of $2300 by July, and I've set myself a personal goal of $5000 - I know I can do it, if I work hard, and if I get your help. So - I know a bunch of you donated last time we walked, and I really appreciate that, and I hate to ask again.... but this is important enough that I'm going to. If you have a little spare money, please donate - every little bit helps. And please, please, spread the word, if you're so inclined.

http://www.the3day.org/goto/drbecky2012
Because everyone deserves a lifetime.

(Donate now, or next time I bust out the majorly tear-jerking Pink Warrior music video.....)
ladysprite: (Default)
Okay - as promised, I'm here to talk to y'all about something a little more serious than kittens and dance music.

As most of you probably already know, I'm taking part in the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk For the Cure, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. This is a really important cause for me, and for a lot of people that I care about. And while I can do the walking, I'm going to need a lot of help with the fundraising.

So. First things first - if any of you can donate, I'd be eternally grateful. My participant page is here, and every little bit helps. And if you know anyone else who might be willing to donate, please feel free to share it around - http://www.the3day.org/goto/drbecky2012 is the shortcut.

Also, as part of fundraising, I'm going to be holding a raffle at Arisia, a local SF convention in January. I've already gotten some promises of amazing prizes - autographed books, custom-made jewelry, a hand-made afghan, and a truly stellar collection of Steve Jackson games, and I'm going to be hitting up local businesses for anything else they're willing to share. But I still need more.

So, what can you do?

Are you a musician? Will you send me a CD? Autographed if possible, but not necessary.

Are you a writer? Will you send me a book? Ditto on the autographing.

Are you a crafter? Will you make something? Jewelry, knitted goods, costumes, anything.

Are you on the concom for other conventions? Can you donate a free membership?

Do you have barterable professional skills? Can you donate a gift certificate?

Do you know anyone who falls into any of these categories? Can you either point me in their direction, or them in mine?

Also, just keep this in mind. Even if you're not going to be at Arisia, I'll be selling raffle tickets here in advance of the event, so there's yet another way you can help - while potentially earning yourself some utterly awesome swag.

Thank you all so much - I'm looking forward to this more than almost anything, and a large portion of that is knowing that I have an amazing group of people supporting me as I take on this challenge....
ladysprite: (Default)
This year's event is over and done, which means it's time to start planning and prepping for next year.

Next summer, July 2012, I will once again be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk For The Cure, walking 60 miles to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. This will be my third year participating in the Boston 3 Day, and each year this event just becomes more and more vital to me. I am proud beyond belief to be part of something so important and life-changing, even as I hope each year that it becomes less and less necessary to have such an event.

In order to participate, though, I need to raise money. I learned last time just how generous my friends and chosen family can be, and I know just how important this issue is, to the world in general and to people I know and love, and so I've set myself a pretty mighty goal this time around - I want to try, over the next year, to raise $5000 for breast cancer research.

I know that's a lot of money, but I also have faith that, with your help, I can do it. I know that funds are tight for a lot of people right now, and if you can't donate, you can't - don't worry. But if you can, every little bit helps.

So please - donate, if you can. Feel free to spread the word, too, in case you know anyone else who may want to contribute.

My Participant Page - mini URL still forthcoming, sorry

Thank you all so much, for reading, for listening, and for your support, whether you donate or not.
ladysprite: (Default)
So the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for Boston 2011 has come and gone. In spite of 103-degree heat, in spite of thunderstorms, in spite of just about everything that nature could throw at us - there were jokes as to whether we should expect blizzards or plagues of locusts by Sunday. And yet, even in the face of all that, there was a walk, and it was still pretty darn amazing.

Details hidden back here, in case folks are tired of hearing me babble on about this... )
ladysprite: (Default)
Once again, I'm participating in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. It starts tomorrow morning, and goes through the entire weekend; in a couple of hours I'll be heading out to the pre-walk training session and meeting.

I haven't talked about it that much this year, mostly because I'm not participating as a walker this year - [livejournal.com profile] tpau and I are working as part of the support crew instead. So, given that, there hasn't been a lot to talk about. No fundraising, no training walks; the only real prep work we've had to do is find some stickers and pompoms to go with our Crew Unit's "cheerleading" theme.

There are a lot of reasons we decided to work crew this year. To be honest, one big reason for me was not having to fundraise again - I could imagine that, if I had to hit people up for donations every year, this would rapidly go from 'that cool and awesome thing that [livejournal.com profile] ladysprite does' to 'that annoying nuisance we're tired of hearing of and funding.' This way, when I do walk again, at least I've given my friends' wallets a year off.

Also, I wanted to take the opportunity to help support the walk itself. The walkers are the rock stars of the event, but the crew are the people who make everything possible. The event wouldn't happen without them; there wouldn't be a route or food or a campsite or medical support or moral support. They are necessary, if anything more so than the walkers, and I figured that it would only be fair to spend a year filling that role. So we're working as bus liaisons, helping out on the shuttle buses that take walkers who are unable to walk for medical reasons from rest areas to lunch and back to the camp. We're a little bit entertainment, a little bit moral and emotional support, a little bit driver's helpers, and a little bit triage.

And I know this is important. And I know I chose to do this. And at the same time, I am sad and frustrated because, more than anything, I want to be walking.

I know, intellectually, that walking last year was hard. I know that I was so hot that I was stuffing ice under my hat and down my shirt by the fistful. I know that I was exhausted and blistered, and by the end I was counting steps and dragging my feet. I know that I wound up so sick that I was kneeling and shaking in the shower, too nauseated and weak to stand up. But I know all of these things as abstract facts, the same way that I know that Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, and with about as much emotional significance.

When I think about the event, what I remember and what I feel are the emotional highs - the enthusiasm of starting, the triumph of returning back to camp at the end of the day, the people I met on the road, the cheers and support and the feeling of Doing Something, and being part of something so big and significant. And I want to have that feeling again.

I know that crew is important, and I'm looking forward to being part of the event, if in a different way. But at the same time, I'm impatient for next year, and being able to walk again.

Last year I walked in memory of my Aunt Susan. This year I'm walking in memory of her, and my friend Jane. I just hope that the numbers don't keep increasing like this every year....

I'll be heading out around 4am tomorrow, and I'll be offline after that until the end of the weekend. So I'll see you all on the other side. Until then,

For Susan Drucker
For Jane Waks,
and in the hope someday there won't be more names added to this list....

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