Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

After walking 26 miles, and after Kent's awesome Red Sox performance at Reebok World Headquarters! See all the blue tents in the background where we camped!?!
Yes, we were tired...but it was oh so fun!

After the "doctor" "drained" my blister and ended up cutting my heal instead! Ouch! Then they loaded up my blister with Zinc cream! Weird!

One of the many beautiful sights along the route in Boston

After signing the big inflatable...thing.

I can't believe I haven't posted since Kent's birthday! A lot has happened since then. One of the major accomplishments we've had is our Avon Walk for Breast Cancer that took place May 15-16 in Boston. Kent and I each raised a minimum of $1,800--together we raised nearly $4,000! We comprised "Team Nanny," as we walked in honor of my wonderful grandmother Nanny who is currently fighting hard against breast cancer. We raised the money, thanks to so many wonderful family and friends who were so generous and supportive, in two months!

The walk began Saturday morning at UMASS Boston. We had to be there at 5:30am, so we were up by 4:00am to turn Reed before heading out the door and into the darkness! We didn't get to bed the night before until 12:30am, so yes, we were tired. But the Opening Ceremonies were wonderful, as was the entire event! Over 4,000 walkers raised $5.8 million! We began walking around 7am--26 miles in ONE hot day!

By mile 17 I had developed some pretty decent blisters. We stopped by a medical station to have them drained and dressed. The lady that was helping me was actually an emergency doctor, so I figured I was in good hands. But then I heard her say, "...but I'm still learning how to do blisters..." Not long after that, the scalpel she was using to drain my big blister on my heel was digging in even further! Sure enough, she cut my heal with that blade, not once, but TWICE!! OUCH!! It hurt so bad! She then did a terrible job wrapping my blisters, and not a mile after that I had to stop and undo that job. Fortunately at the next medical station 3 miles later there was an amazing Athletic Trainer who knew what to do and she saved me so I could finish the 26 miles! Kent didn't get blisters, which still boggles my mind seeing how I'm the one that did the training! However, after 26 miles, his legs and muscles were dead tired, and mine were fine; I just still can't believe I got all the blisters!

At our "Wellness Village" after the 26 mile walk on Saturday (can I just say it was awesome to walk across THAT finish line!) they had a booth with massage chairs and foot massagers going on, along with Yoga that we did not attempt, and several other cool booths. They had several semi trucks full of hot showers that we used, and since Kent and I were among the first 500 or so walkers to arrive, we didn't have to wait in the enormous shower line that formed later in the evening, thank heavens! We, along with most of the walkers set up 2-person tents at the Reebok World Headquarters where we had ended for the day and camped for the night. It was an awesome and fun experience! We were blessed with the most perfect weather the whole weekend and everything turned out really nice!

After eating some dinner, Kent also had the opportunity to perform for many of the crew and walkers at "Fireside Follies." They had sent out a mass email weeks ago saying they were looking for one performer for every location to show their talent during the Fireside Follies. I had sent them an email about Kent and his amazing-ness, hoping he'd get a chance to sing, but I never heard back from them. I figured they had found someone else, so no big deal. On Thursday before the walk, I got an email from the guy, apologizing for the delay in response. Apparently my email had gone to his Spam and he'd never received it! Turned out they were still looking for someone for Saturday night! I quickly responded with a clip of Kent's Red Sox song, "East Coast Genuine Girl," but then again, never heard anything back. Friday night at Event Eve and Check-in, we asked some amazing volunteers at the Info booth about it, and one amazing guy, Dan Cooney from San Francisco, called the head music guy up and let Kent talk to him. The conversation more or less went, "So, can you sing?" "Well, I think so. My wife submitted my song to the Red Sox last season and they actually played it at Fenway during one of the games, so..." "That sounds good enough to me. You're in." Well that was just the start to an awesome opportunity! Kent did get to perform, and yes he CAN sing! The crowd loved him! All that night and the next day he had people coming up to him saying things like, "Great job last night!" "I LOVED your song!" "Where can I download that song?" It was so much fun for both of us! We even got to wear our Red Sox attire for the performance, including my "Real Women Don't Date Yankee Fans" shirt. What a wonderful memory!

After a fair night's sleep, the walk continued Sunday morning for another 13 miles--totalling 39 in all. However, because Kent and I are in the middle of fertility treatments and injectible hormones (yes, I get to give myself shots every day), I had a scheduled ultrasound and bloodwork appointment that I couldn't miss on Sunday morning! We had told the walk staff at check-in on Friday about my 9:30am appointment in Lexington, and they said no problem; I could take a shuttle bus from the beginning to near the end, walk the last couple miles to cross the Finish Line, because you just CAN'T miss that experience, I could go to my appointment and be back for Closing Ceremonies. So we woke up Sunday morning around 5am assuming everything was great. Well, we were wrong. As we soon found out, apparently, the first shuttle wasn't even leaving the camping sight until 9am, and it was only going to the halfway point for lunch! They had no shuttles or "sweeper buses" scheduled to arrive at the finish line where our car was conveniently parked until at least noon! After a few frantic phone calls, and some amazing crew volunteers who took pity on us, the director of the whole event came over. We explained our situation, and she said, "Give me ten minutes." Sure enough, she was able to find a volunteer driver who was already parked where we were waiting. He came and picked us up and took us all the way to our car, literally! It was amazing! We got to my appointment early, didn't have to wait, and got done in time to make it to Church at the Boston Second Ward! We got there early enough to change without many people seeing us run into the bathrooms, and we were sitting in the chapel a good 25 minutes early! By a quarter to 11, when Church was supposed to start, there still were only like 5 of us in there, and no prelude! I told the Bishop I could play, and he took me up on the offer and I got to play prelude for them! The organist showed up just as the meeting was starting, so he relieved me of any further duties. I came back to mine and Kent's pew to realize he had been asked to help pass the Sacrament with the missionaries and a Deacon! Needless to say, we were glad we were not only able to make it to Sacrament meeting, but also to serve a little along the way! We left Sacrament meeting a few minutes early and were able to make it back to the Closing Ceremonies sight just as the first walkers were crossing the finish line. We had been told we'd be able to have a shuttle take us back on the route a few miles so we could get as much of the 13 miles in as time allowed. But when we arrived and asked about that, we were given the run around and finally were told that could not happen. So, instead of just sit around, we decided to start walking at the Finish Line, and walk the route backwards until we found the caboose, then turn around and retrace our steps back to the finish line with the rest of the walkers! We had tons of walkers telling us, "You're going the wrong way!" and stuff, but in total we were able to get about 5 miles in on Sunday, AND cross that Finish Line, which really was amazing. I finished the remaining 8 miles Monday morning at the gym.

Closing Ceremonies was again a wonderful experience. I can't wait to go home and show Nanny the videos we took of the whole weekend! The route itself was breathtaking--especially Saturday morning and afternoon! We got to see Boston in a way we never would have been able to, and this truly was one of the most memorable things we have done in Boston while living here!

I want to thank everyone who helped Kent and me reach our goals and be able to take place in this walk for Breast Cancer. We met some incredible people along the way and it really did change my life.