Sunday, September 21, 2014

Erika's Dream - A GRACEful Hope Walk

I have been busy for much of the month of September and have not been able to take part in many of the local Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month activities. So when Margaret invited me to the GRACEful Hope 1st Annual Walk I jumped at the chance to join her and the Rocha family.

I first met Margaret, Sergio and the rest of GRACEful Hope at their 2nd Annual Benefit in 2012. They invited me to share my story and it was a very emotional experience.( You can read about it here.)  Yesterday, the temperatures were perfect for a walk and it was wonderful to see the walk path lined with teal ribbons and balloons in Warinaco Park, Roselle, NJ.

We had pre-registered so we picked up our gift bags and t-shirts. The bags were filled with info about ovarian cancer and cancer research. After putting on the walk shirt I filled out the" In Suppport of" and "In Memory Signs"and Nick pinned them on my shirt. I walked in Memory of Grace, Erika, Shari, Stella and the ladies of my CINJ support group who died because of a gynecologic cancer. After the welcome speeches by Roselle Mayor Jamal Holley, Assemblywoman Quijano, and a Union County Freeholder Sergio Granados and a moving a capella rendition of the National Anthem, the walk that Erika had dreamed of began.

The path lead you around the park , past the lake, ball fields and playgrounds. I teared-up a few times   during the day, as I finished the walk feeling blessed to still be alive after being in treatment twice for the disease and when they asked for survivors to step forward.  It was wonderful to be able to catch up with other survivors Corinne, Dores, Tina, Jill, Jes and Terry.

GRACEful Hope expected 100-200 people at the event and there were over 500 participants. That is a testament to the wide reach of GRACEful Hope's efforts. Thank you GRACEful Hope for all you do to raise awareness and funds for research. You can find out more about future events by following them on Facebook.

Every Day is a Blessing!

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