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One hour 12 minutes

October 21, 2009

One hour 12 minutes

Over the fall break I was able to embark on a journey, a journey in which once was a hard road before but one I needed to take as part of my healing.  I went back home to participate in the Susan G. Komen breast cancer 5k walk.  It was a cold Saturday morning in the foothills of North Carolina, I forgot how mountainous and crisp the air can be but was quickly reminded.  As my friend and I arrived on Lenoir Rhyne University campus, cars were packed all over the place.  We rush to meet with my mother’s twin sister and a really good friend of the family who is like a play mom to me, Vickie.  Our team name was Dream Girls, dreaming of when the time will come that a cure will be found for this non-discriminating disease.  As they were putting on their shirts, I was handed a piece of pink paper with words that stated “I celebrate Jeanetta Ford and Vickie Pope”.  I pinned it on my shirt with pride because I never thought of celebrating my mother who fought breast cancer as hard as she could…don’t get me wrong I was proud of her but I was still engulf with my own pain of losing her that I never was capable of seeing it that way.


One hour and 12 minutes…I celebrated

And we’re off onto the race…

I didn’t realize how badly I was out of shape but I continue to truck along because in my mind I remembered all the pain my mother went through, so what I was going through didn’t even compare…it was only temporary.  I walked with my aunt as my friend and Vickie walked ahead.  Even though we never spoke or talk about my mom during the walk, I know it was on both of our minds.  The hardest part of the walk was getting to the one mile mark.  I was thinking about all the times we as humans first begin something whether it’s a new job, a business, or a goal…the hardest part is the first couple of steps…getting through and trying to find your own pace, your own breathing techniques.

One hour and 12 minutes…cheering to victory

The little things along this race, which made me smile was seeing the young children, walking and cheering their parents and grandparents along. The cheerleaders from the various surrounding schools and volunteers rooting us along with encouraging words “You can do it! You’re almost there…one more hill to go!”  I couldn’t help but laugh, smile and press my way through the burning soles of my feet.

One hour and 12 minutes…I cross the finish line.

This was my first walk I ever participated in but it’s not my last… just the beginning.  It started to become emotional seeing all the people walking and the signs on their backs of who they were walking for.  People telling each other good job and giving high fives in the cool air.  We were people from all different walks of life who came together for a common purpose.

One hour and 12 minutes…I will participate.

For me the breast cancer walk was just a catalyst of me giving my time to assist a well deserving organization.  This week all the major networks along with other TV stations are coming together for a common purpose which is to spread the word of volunteerism across the country.  With the First Lady, Michelle Obama spear heading this event asking the country to lean a helping hand to someone in need.  I am in the process of finding an organization I can volunteer with and make a difference.  I urge you to do the same.

One hour and 12 minutes…I made a difference.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. dparsonsmedia permalink
    October 21, 2009 6:27 pm


    I think you have done such a wonderful thing here. Your strength and perseverance in support of loved ones is humbling. I know you will continue your endeavor to participate and make a difference in the lives of those you touch.


  2. andersj permalink
    October 27, 2009 1:18 pm

    Congratulations and thank you for your effort and this post about the worthy cause so many of us support!

  3. steveearley permalink
    November 2, 2009 8:14 pm

    Congratulations, Kenya! In a program as intense as ours, it’s helpful to take a reality check every now and then and remind ourselves there are larger battles. I participated in last year’s Komen Race for the Cure in Maryland. Although breast cancer has not directly affected my family, cancer has. As you discovered, the camaraderie at races is amazing. As inspirational a place one can spend a weekend morning.

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