A Farmer’s Promise


April 23

This time of year we talk a lot about our Bra-Vo Bra Decorating Contest and our PINK Party both designed to raise funds for Breast Cancer Charities. In our case we focus on the Susan G. Komen 3 day, and here is why. This is a follow up to the last blog post about what the PINK Party was about.

3 Day opening ceremonies

3 Day opening ceremonies

The Susan G. Komen Foundation has raised more money for breast cancer research than any other single charity. They have had some setbacks the past couple years I will agree, they probably have not made the best decisions in all instances, maybe they got too big, I don’t know. What I do know is I have witnessed at many levels the 3 Day 60 mile walk do so much more than raise, spend or do whatever with simply money. It is also about “The Promise”, I’ll get to that later.

Just a "Civilian Cheerleader" along the route, you never knew the stories behind "why...."

Just a "Civilian Cheerleader" along the route, you never knew the stories behind "why...."

I have seen it change lives, personally I have had it change my life such that I have been a motivated to become a “multiplier” for the cause within and separate from the SGK 3 Day. What is that worth? Again I don’t know nor does anyone else. The SGK 3 Day “rolls large” it moves people physically, mentally and spiritually. Let me say I mean no disparagement to any other event or charity in saying these comments I am simply stating what I’ve experienced and why we support the SGK 3 Day. It is a unique event when you string 3 days together over 60 miles it moves people beyond their comfort zones, it requires a big commitment in many ways not just the few days of the event. This really makes it “Special” to me.

Michelle in front of the Pink tent city her first year the walkers and crew

Michelle in front of the Pink tent city her first year the walkers and crew

It takes an army of “crew” to support these walkers, it isn’t cheap. As a farmer I know how to move large things, deal with weather and understand logistics a bit, this is a big deal to pull off. They provide medical care, they feed them well, the AWESOME porta-jons, actually pretty nice showers, and safety is quite a play to orchestrate.

Portable shower rigs, boy they feel good at the end of 20 mile walk on a 90 degree day!

Portable shower rigs, boy they feel good at the end of 20 mile walk on a 90 degree day!

I think for the outcome they do a great job. As a farmer I know when I grow a crop some weeds are going to grow too. I just have to do my best to minimize that part and drive the positive aspects to the top. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop farming because some weeds will grow if I do. I’ve got a job to do, as do the folks of all motivations that volunteer and make a career out of running charities. We are better off with their efforts than without. That is why we walk the 3 Day, also because it’s HARD!

I was a member of "Route Safety" Crew in 2011 "The Pirates"

I was a member of "Route Safety" Crew in 2011 "The Pirates"

Our motley crew on motorcycles and bicycles watched out for walkers safety in multiple ways. We were there to watch for medical conditions and get help if noted. We kept people off their phones when walking, we escorted the walkers at “tough” intersections within traffic laws, we told really bad jokes when people needed a smile. After a while only so many things rhyme with ARrrrrrgH!

Promise Me

Promise Me

Again I keep coming back to what is motivating me to write this. It’s the “Anti’s” as they are called now, those who can find fault in practically anything for whatever reason good or bad. But it is easy to throw stones at a glass house after someone built it. When “The Promise” was made we didn’t talk openly about breasts, make jokes about boobs or practically even acknowledge this “thing” existed. I promised my wife I would always be there for her in this journey, it was a small promise compared to one promise a sister made to another back in 1977.

Nancy and Susan

Nancy and Susan

In 1977, breast cancer was still shrouded in stigma and shame. Nobody talked about early detection and mammograms. Nobody could even say the words “breast” and “cancer” together in polite company, let alone on television news broadcasts. With Nancy at her side, Suzy endured the many indignities of cancer treatment, from the grim, soul-killing waiting rooms to the mistakes of well-meaning but misinformed doctors. That’s when Suzy began to ask Nancy to promise. To promise to end the silence. To promise to raise money for scientific research. To promise to one day cure breast cancer for good. Big, shoot-for-the-moon promises that Nancy never dreamed she could fulfill. But she promised because this was her beloved sister.
I promise, Suzy. . . . Even if it takes the rest of my life.

Me and my Survivor

Me and my Survivor

So this the “why” we are grunts in the fight against Breast Cancer and why we have chosen the Susan G. Komen 3 Day as our path. We ask for your support at the PINK Party or anyway possible. If you can’t help there we encourage you to look around for other opportunities that also exist with other groups that are also in the fight because everyone deserves a lifetime!

Looks like we will walking the streets and paths of Michigan in 2014!  Zero to 60 in 3 Days...We got that!

Looks like we will walking the streets and paths of Michigan in 2014! Zero to 60 in 3 Days...We got that!

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