Beating Breast Cancer One Step at a Time: 2012 Walk of Life
The 11th Annual Walk of Life, hosted by the Joy to Life Foundation, brought the community together to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer in Alabama, trying to cure cancer one step at a time.
During the opening ceremonies, Joy Blondheim, the founder of the Joy to Life Foundation, introduced the official starter for the Walk of Life 2012, Carolyn White.
“Take a moment and give all praise to God,” White said before a crowd of nearly 5,000 people.
Soon after, the race gun fired and confetti blew into the air as people hit the pavement to support others like Carolyn; those who are battling have survived or lost their lives to breast cancer. Carolyn White recalls her ongoing struggle against the sickness, “Because I couldn't, Carolyn, couldn't do this by herself, so I know it’s him, I know God runs through me, he's all over me.”
White was diagnosed in 2007 and says like so many cancer survivors, her friends and family kept her going. “My team got behind me, gave me that boost, that spirit and I'm here,” she said surrounded by more than 40 people walking/running for her in the Walk of Life.
“I've seen her through her worst and I've seen her at her best and through it all she gives God the praise and she knows that she's going to make it,” Elizabeth DerRamus said about her friend.
White says her breast cancer hasn’t changed her permanently, but helped her see people and understand her life better. “I think what cancer did for me most, and what I praise Him for, it made me see life more clear,” White said.
It’s the Joy to Life Foundation that allows White to help other women fighting the same battle, including a number of runners Saturday at the Walk of Life. “I know what that feels like, I know what they're going through, or what they're going to go through and it’s just to be able to say, “hang in there,” White said.
While her sickness limited White from participating in the walk, other people say they would walk for her and so many others in the same situation. “If you're a real man you can wear any color, and pink especially,” said Josh Moates of Montgomery after getting a pink ribbon painted on his face.
Another man, Joshua Williams made a statement in pink: pink underwear. “I told everyone that if I could raise $3,000 I would run in this [outfit] today, so apparently we're at $3,610,” Williams said donning a pink bra, skirt, wig and makeup.
But it’s that kind of fun that makes the Walk of Life worth celebrating, to bring hope about the hardships and accomplishments of all survivors’ lives. “The hardest thing I ever had to do in my life is fight this cancer,” Carolyn White said. “And it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.”
But Carolyn White says she will not give up, and in many ways like other women, serves as a warrior continuing to fight for her life.
Walk of Life donations are still coming in, and according to the Joy to Life Foundation's website at 6:20 p.m. the Walk of Life raised: $134,572.31 If you were unable to get involved in the Walk of Life, but still want to help support the cause, visit: http://events.joytolife.org/site/TR/Events/General?fr_id=1040&pg=pfind