Words by: Nichelle Cobb
Faith, courage, and strength, are three of many words that breast cancer fighters lean on for encouragement. Every year during the month of October, walks take place across the nation in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On Sunday, October 22nd, Tallahassee hosted their annual walk at cascades park. Residents of Leon County joined together in support of loved ones, friends, those who are currently fighting, and survivors of the disease. The 5k walk was organized by The American Cancer Society and covered about 3.0 miles of the south side.
Each year the walk expands due to sponsors that make contributions to this worthy cause. Kia of Tallahassee is one of the proud sponsors that support the walk each year by donating water and providing volunteer services throughout the event. Susan Schrier an Office Manager for Kia said, “Volunteering for the annual walk helps spread encouragement to the community.” Schrier is not a stranger to supporting the cause; she has been volunteering for the past few years and enjoys spreading joy to those who are currently in the fight. “A few of my family members have been effected by breast cancer, so I put I put forth my best work while volunteering in honor of them”, said Schrier.
Furthermore, supporters go all out to cheer people on, however the individuals that stand out the most at the walk are the survivors. They stride with pride not letting anything stop them from reaching the finish line. The tragedy of survivors at the walk seems to be a similar strategy they used to fight their way through overcoming cancer. Keelaye James a 4th year FAMU student walked on behalf of her surviving grandmother, Annie Little. James said “I was there every step of the way supporting my grandmother while she was fighting the disease.” James consistently encouraged her grandmother even when she herself didn’t have hope that things would turn around. “Doing this walk on the behalf of my grandmother brings joy to my heart because I am able to represent a woman of strength and courage” said James. Through the pain, doctors’ visits and treatments James witnessed her grandmother fight and win a battle with a disease that was bigger than the both of them. Therefore, because of early detection and a supportive family Annie Little is here today willing and able to share her story.
Every year the Breast Cancer walk serves its purpose by providing knowledge to the community, celebrating survivor’s, and most of all encouraging those who are currently in the fight. Each person that volunteers and participates in the walk make’s a unique difference in an affected individual’s life. From wearing a rest in peace shirt of a loved one, to encouraging and cheering people on at the finish line.
According to the Cancer Treatment center of America, Breast Cancer is the most common non-skin cancer amongst American women. Although there are more advances in treatment due to technology, there is still no cure. As individuals we all may not be able to find the cure, however we can still play a role in this cause. By continuing to support annual walks, donating and most of all encouraging those brave individuals who are fighting to stay strong, we one day can come up with not only a cause but also a cure.