WALKERS: Sarah ’11 and Ileana ’11 pose for the John Wayne Cancer Institute team photo. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Ashforth.
The flames of the Los Angeles Coliseum torch glowed with hope on May 9 as more than 50,000 women, men, and children joined together in the EIF Revlon Women’s Run/Walk 5K, a walk through the USC campus to raise money for researching cures for women’s cancers.
Science instructor Elizabeth Ashforth, math instructor Melissa Banister, Sarah ’11, and I walked with the John Wayne Cancer Institute team at the 16th walk.
Ashforth is a three year member of the board of trustees at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. She has walked many times before, but this was her first year walking with the Institute.
In addition to walking for the Institute’s team, Ashforth said that she also participated in support of a close friend, who is a 10 year breast cancer survivor that is currently battling thyoma cancer.
Many of the walkers and runners were friends or family of cancer patients, cancer survivors, or even current cancer patients.
When we arrived at Exposition Park at 7 a.m., I was amazed to see the already growing crowd of people filling up the front lawn of the Coliseum. At 9 a.m., I experienced an intense moment when the large crowd started walking down the same route at the same time.
We could hear the loud speakers telling us to get pumped, but the farthest we could move was half a step every five minutes. Once we finally crossed the starting line, the walk was on.
As we moved through the crowd in our blue t-shirts with the recognizable cowboy’s shadow insignia of John Wayne, we read all the signs people had taped on their backs. Most were dedicated to moms, grandmas, and aunts fighting cancer, and sadly, many others were “in loving memory of” deceased loved ones.
Having suffered a great loss myself due to cancer, it was heart-breaking to see how many countless lives have been affected by cancer. But, it was up-lifting to see how many survivors there are and how many people are willing to fight for a cure for this despicable affliction.
As we entered the Coliseum, where we would finally cross the finish line, we all received gold medals.
Since 1993, the EIF Company and Revlon have worked together to gather funds for research towards the cure for women’s cancers. This year, they gathered over two million dollars for research from registration fees.
By participating in the walk next year on May 8, you too can help make a difference by joining the Marlborough team or individually registering online at revlonwalk.com.
Walking only 5k can help an important cause. To quote the announcer at the walk: “Help bring a cancer-free tomorrow today.”