Newsflash: breast cancer kills around 40,000 people each year in the United States alone.
Newsflash: over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the USA.
Newsflash: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime.
Newsflash: 2500+ men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and one in five will die from it.
I’ve been taking part in Susan G. Komen-sponsored charity walks known as the 3-Day for over ten years now — which is probably not a newsflash to anyone who knows me at all, because frankly I’ve been kind of noisy about it — and in that time, WONDERFUL PEOPLE LIKE YOU have donated over $50,000 by sponsoring me.
It’s coming up on 3-Day time again, and in fact, some of this year’s 3-Day walks have already been held in various cities around the country. I’m taking part in two this year: Atlanta, in October, as a member of the support crew, and San Diego, in November, as a walker. This will be my 18th walk as a walker and my 11th walk as a crewmember. (I calculated earlier this year that at some point in this year’s San Diego 3-Day I’ll have walked my 1,000th mile as a 3-Day walker.)
If you haven’t been following my walks for all these years and maybe don’t know me all that well, you might wonder why I’ve been at this so long and why I’m apparently so dedicated to the cause.
Well, It’s not because I’ve ever lost a member of my immediate family to breast cancer. In fact, hardly any of my relatives have had it.
But friends and co-workers… that’s another story. I’ve made lots of friends while taking part in the 3-Day and… well, I’ve lost a few of them along the way.
It’s a damn lonely thing fighting breast cancer. Even if you’re lucky to have friends and family who care and look out for you, and not everyone does. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve met whose significant other skedaddled because breast cancer was just so depressing.
Among those women who do have good support networks, you still hear comments like “I’m sick and tired of being told how brave I am. I don’t want to be brave. I want to live.” No matter how much they love you and they care for you, when the time comes, your friends and family can’t carry the weight for you. It’s a lonesome valley you have to walk by yourself, as your body wastes away and you spend long hours in the infusion chair hoping and praying for a miracle.
I’m fucking sick of breast cancer. I’m tired of losing friends. I want a breakthrough and I want it now.
Will you help out by sponsoring me? You can do so here: http://www.the3day.org/goto/jayfurr
Thanks. Everyone deserves a lifetime.