I support a variety of what I consider good causes through modest financial contributions and volunteer work, but I've never done a walk-a-thon or any other charitable/fundraising event associated with a disease or illness. I've supported many others in their walks for breast cancer, AIDS, and other equally just causes, but I've never felt enough of a personal attachment to these causes to participate myself. Of course now that has changed.
For a while, even after my parents died, I didn't want to be associated with heart disease and leukemia. I mean, really, who does? They're nasty things. But alas, they do exist and they do impact many people. Of course we can't support every worthy cause that exists, and so we must be selective in the charities and activities that we do support. I don't think I'll ever become a rabid advocate for heart disease or leukemia research/prevention, but this year I've decided to participate in walks for both causes, in honor of my parents. I was lucky that neither of my parents suffered very long from either of these ailments, so I don't really have any direct experience with the actual diseases, but I certainly know that the end results can be devastating, so participating in these walks just seems like a good thing to do this year.
For Mom, I'm walking in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk 2011-2012 in San Diego on September 17. If you'd like to support me in this effort, please visit the website below:
For Dad, I'm walking in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk in Hollywood on October 1. If you'd like to support me in this effort, please visit the website below:
Like I said, I've never participated in one of these before, but I think I can do it. They're just WALK-a-thons, right? Not marathons. So all I need is a good pair of walking shoes, appropriate attire, and a water bottle (all of which I already own), and the right attitude, and I can do it. And hopefully I can raise some money for these worthy causes, and enjoy the feeling of being with other people who understand loss and are willing to spend the time and energy coming together to build a happier and healthier future for all of us.