Last week I took part in the 2011 Boston Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure. The walk, sixty miles in three days in record-breaking heat, raised $4.8 million for the fight against breast cancer. That's $4.8 million that will go to pay for research, treatment costs, screening costs, and even things you wouldn't think of, like paying for gas if someone needs help getting to a mammography center in the first place. And that's from just one of the 14 cities hosting 3-Day walks this year.
I didn't walk in Boston; I served as crew. Hauled garbage for three days, if it must be known. Stomped boxes. Carried around leaking trash bags full of bruised bananas and orange slices no one had eaten. In, for what it's worth, 103 degrees Fahrenheit heat. I looked and smelled absolutely awful. But I had it easier than the walkers who had to pound the pavement in those conditions.
Why did the 1700 walkers walk? Why did the 300-odd crew members give their time to support the walkers? And why will I be walking myself in San Francisco and Atlanta this fall?
Because we're trying to raise money for a fight that shows no sign of ending. Every 69 seconds a woman dies of breast cancer. Every 69 seconds someone's mom or sister or wife or daughter loses her battle. And that's a toll that is TOO DAMN HIGH.
So we walk -- we walk sixty miles in three days in hopes of impressing you
enough with our commitment that you, in turn, write a check or type in a credit card number. Or hand over a $5 bill when you meet me training along some country road in Vermont. Or back a truckful of cured hams up to my driveway with instructions to sell it all and use the proceeds for the fight. (That last example hasn't happened yet, but I figure it's only a matter of time.)
This year it's been very hard to get people to donate to any
charity. People gave more readily when the recession was officially still going, but now that it's over and the economy is ever so slowly creeping upwards and we're worried about a governmental default, people are saying "Maybe next year."
Well, "next year" may not come for a friend of mine. She's a survivor. She's fought cancer for years. And been declared "all clear". Well, let me have her tell you the bad news:
"Last night I found a lump under my left armpit. Same side my cancer was on. I'm freaking out. I am not ready to broadcast this ... but I needed your thoughts and prayers. I'm so scared."
Freaking terrific. :(
Will a donation from you for $120 mean that her lump will just vanish overnight?
But will it make a huge difference in funding research so that "all clear" actually maybe means
And if it does nothing but pay for a mammogram (and yes, $120 is about average) for a woman who can't afford one, someone you don't even know and won't ever meet
, and if it helps her
catch cancer early, while it's still treatable, then I'd call that
So, yeah, I'd be grateful to have your support in the fight against breast cancer. In just a few weeks I'll be walking in the San Francisco Bay Area 3-Day, doing my own 60 miles on some of the biggest hills around, hoping to make a difference.
But remember: in the end, my walking won't make much of any difference at all. Your financial support will
. So if you can help, please do. You can donate at http://www.the3day.org/goto/jayfurr
or just click the big-ass picture below this paragraph.
And thank you. Everyone deserves a lifetime.