Whom Would You Walk For?

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

“Whom are you walking for?” Was one of the first questions I was asked when registering to be a Virtual Walker in the 2015 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk on September 27, 2015. And I admit, the list is too long to name. Every name is etched in my heart forever, but the sad truth is that cancer has taken too many loved ones from my life, and I fear it will continue to do so. Who will I walk for? Everyone, really. We have all been touched by cancer in our lives – whether distantly or too close.

(Photo credit to John Deputy)

One name that does stand out to me is Connor Crooks – “Supercon.” My friend from high school (Earth Science lab partner and Typing class partner-in-crime) gave birth to micro-preemie twins at 25 weeks. It was an incredible journey and the kids grew and thrived, but the boy twin, Connor, was diagnosed with an extremely rare brain tumor at 23-months-old. He endured two brain surgeries, completed six rounds of chemotherapy and received proton radiation treatment. Sadly he passed away last month and I’m virtually walking with Connor in mind. I can’t attend the walk in person because I’m photographing a wedding in New Jersey that same weekend, but I was overjoyed that I could participate as a Virtual Walker with my own page.

childhood cancer
(Photo credit to Aaron Washington)

Connor’s story touches me deeply, but it’s not the only one in my heart. There are too many. We all have a connection to cancer whether we have fought the fight, or know someone who has. Cancer is a presence in our lives, and it requires extensive treatment, research and support. I often worry and wonder that there’s no way I can help, but one of the easiest ways to help in the fight against cancer is to fundraise for the cause, and to participate in events such as the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk – which supports the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. You can lace up and walk for a cancer-free world.

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(Photo credit to John Deputy)

You can visit the page HERE. You can register today, if you’re in the Boston area, or you can register as a Virtual Walker. The Walk staff can help you through the easy registration process, and fundraising is easier than you think (than I thought!) because there are so many tools available, as well as rewards for reaching certain fundraising milestones. The money you raise will be vital – focusing on the research and patient care happening at Dana-Farber Institute. You can help Dana-Farber Institute conquer all cancers in children and adults by joining us on September 27th. That registration page again is HERE.

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(Photo credit to John Deputy)

Choose from four routes:

o Hopkinton 26.2-mile

o Wellesley 13.1-mile

o Boston College 5-mile

o Dana-Farber 3-mile

All routes finish at the Copley Square finish area in Boston where walkers will enjoy live music and food. Even if you can’t make it to Boston, like me, remember that you can still participate as a Virtual Walker!

To get $5 off the registration fee, use this registration discount code: BLOG.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JimmyFundWalk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheJimmyFund
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmvHu29Xd8E
Hashtag: #JimmyFundWalk

Now tell me – whom are you walking for? Whom would you walk for?

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  1. Aw, I am so sorry for the loss of Conner, but a wonderful reason to walk for here. I just couldn’t imagine this though at all. My aunt lost her son to aplastic anemia when he was a young boy in the 1960s. He was only 3 when he was diagnosed and passed at the age of 9. I grew up hearing all the stories and got to tell you I still tear up (even now as I write this) thinking about it, because never understand why little kids have to get this sick and suffer. Just breaks my heart. But again what a great cause and thank you for sharing with us.

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry about Connor. What your friend has had to go through.
    A good friend of mine walks every year for her dad who was treated at Dana Farber for a rare blood condition but sadly passed away three years ago. I have a friend who is a cancer researcher there — it is a fantastic hospital.
    My dad is a pediatric oncologist so cancer is definitely on my mind all too often. He has patients who fought long and hard and sadly lost, but also ones who have thrived and have grown older and had kids of his own (I once babysat for the kids of a former patient of his!) The walk is on my birthday this year 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear you think it’s a fantastic hospital. Your dad’s career fascinates me. I don’t think I have what it takes, but what a gift he is to the children of our lives.
      And cool about your birthday!

  3. I’m terribly sorry to hear about the loss of Conner. It just doesn’t seem fair when we lose children. My heartaches at that thought.
    There are so many people to walk for, sadly. Thank you for doing your part to inform and support.
    ::BIG HUGS::

  4. My mom is a cancer survivor. It’s so important that we support causes that raise money for research for cancer. It’s such a scary disease that I wished no one had to develop.
    It’s great that you are raising funds as a virtual walker.

    1. So glad she’s a survivor.
      My grandmother too. She did eventually pass away but it wasn’t of cancer. She was very old by then!

  5. I’m so sorry about your friend’s son. I can’t even imagine how hard that would be. What a cool idea – to virtual walk! I also would have so many people to walk for – but I think I would pick my friend Gretchen, who died of a brain tumor. It’s been over ten years and we still miss her so much!

  6. Oh that story is heartbreaking! What a wonderful way to honor that sweet baby and his family. We have had a lot of loss to cancer. I love the idea of a virtual walk to support finding a cure for this horrible disease in all of it’s forms! Good luck Tamara! I am proud of you 🙂

    1. It’s so heartbreaking! They fought so hard, and he’s a twin. Sigh.
      Thanks so much for your support. I can’t wait for the day when we can say we have a cure.

    1. I had never thought about it either! I’m so glad it’s a possibility because it’s a fantastic walk and I will be in NJ that particular weekend.

  7. Disease is a horrid thing, stepping up can help those suffering. Knowing that others care can make a difference in how people affected fight. Kudos to you for pushing us all to care. Your words and actions cause others to open our hearts to others. As always I am touched!

  8. I’m so incredibly sorry about your friend. I walked for my aunt who died of breast cancer, and I walk for Lauren’s Kids. I’m so glad you are able to help!

  9. I’m so sorry for the loss of Connor. And you’re right – there are too many people to name and we really do walk for everyone. Thank you for bringing awareness to this. Cancer really does suck.

  10. I would walk for my mother-in-law and my husband’s best friend. Cancer sucks and it takes too many people, too soon!

  11. The greatest loss to our family just happened last summer, when my cousin Mark died from colon cancer. He was only 48. I still tear up thinking about it.

    When I walked the Avon 2-Day walk for breast cancer, my list was way too long! And there are, unfortunately, more names to add. My college roommate had breast cancer last summer, and a good friend of my husband’s just found out her breast cancer returned. Next year, I plan on walking again to celebrate 20 years of being cancer-free.

  12. Conor’s story is so devastating to hear, for a kid to endure that, I can’t even fathom. I wake up every day and go to bed grateful every night that my son has his health, and as of now, so do I. Forget walking, i’d run for Conor! I’m tired, I have blogs to read and I always start with yours. It’s been a long week – the weeks keep getting longer don’t they? It seems like it’s a never ending wave of things to do, places to be, people to see and yet it feels like nothing is getting done, nothing has happened, no one was seen Lol. Is it just me? This summer is flying by – it must stop! Have a great weekend lovely Tam Tam -iva

    1. I don’t run, and I’d run for Connor too. I’d even fly!
      Thanks for starting with me! That means a lot. No one ever knows what I’m going to write about, including me, until the last second anyway.
      Let summer live on because I can’t handle fall and I definitely might die if winter ever comes back.

      1. I don’t run either but like you, I’d fly! 🙂 Hehe no problem 🙂 seirously.. I don’t want winter to return.. I can handle Fall (here), but not winter.. God no! 🙁 NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! *queue dramatic Orchestrated music*

  13. Such a good cause! I’m so sorry to hear about Connor. A story like that breaks my heart. My friend’s father just passed away due to cancer. My godmother has cancer and is surviving. Why does cancer even exist? I always think of what I can do. Most of the time I don’t know how to act or what to say… That disease is very expensive.

  14. How heartbreaking. Cancer takes so many lives, but it’s a tragedy when young lives are lost. It is wonderful that walks like these raise money for research, and I really like that they allow people to walk virtually. What a great way to try to included everyone in this important cause.

    1. I think it’s so awesome about the virtual walkers. I would never have known about that if they hadn’t accepted me as one!
      Cancer is the worst.

  15. My sister has brain cancer – so for her. Sorry about your friends little one.

    That is nice you are doing this walk 🙂

    1. So hard. He was such a lively and charming kid. He had a lot of living to do and will never get to do it.
      I can’t wrap my head around that!

  16. I’m so sad for Connor. Cancer spares no one and that is what is the worst part of it. This walk is a fantastic way to support the cause!

  17. That story is so sad. I remember the Jimmy Fund from when we lived in Boston. It’s a great cause.

  18. I would definitely walk for either of my Parents. This is a really touching story for Connor .. this shows that illnesses spares no one no matter how old or young we are

  19. Oh, I’m so sorry about Connor. We just went to a celebration of life for a friend of ours who just lost her battle with cancer. Too many in my life have walked this walk.. I would walk for them.

  20. I love that people can participate virtually even if you can’t be there for the walk. This is an incredibly important cause and fundraiser that supports so many. We have all been touched by cancer in one way or another.

    1. It’s pretty awesome that they let me participate. I would do it in person but I have a wedding in NJ that day so it would be too tough. I hope this message reaches many. Thanks so much!

    1. So true. I find it to be the toughest for me personally. When I hear about it or when it happens to someone I know, I feel helpless.

  21. what a sad story, I was lucky enough to have a best friend when I was a young child that changed my life forever. You see my friend was named susan and we were best friends but cancer would take her from me and the world when she was only in 1st grade. Your story touched my heart and I am proud of you for taking a stand and walking. I would walk in honor of susan but also for so many others that Cancer has stolen from us way to early

  22. Such a great cause. I’ve had many people in my life affected by cancer. Including my niece who passed away at the age of 4. I hate cancer!!! So happy to see so many taking part in this 🙂

  23. Connor’s story is heart-touching, definitely. Like you said, though, so many of them are… I think what Kimberly said above me is 100% true. 🙁

  24. Cancer is such a terrible and heartbreaking disease. And to lose a child to it at such a precious age…I just can’t imagine the pain. Much love and many prayers to all who are walked for during this event!

    1. I know! He had just turned three. And he had been sick for over a year so I really hope he had a lot of happiness in between everything. A beautiful kid.

  25. So so many. Sigh. My husband’s mother, my uncle, my next-door neighbor, my husband, each of us, all of us. Good job you for walking.

    1. I’m so sorry about all of them! I’ve lost a lot of great aunts and uncles to cancer, but my grandparents died of old age (being 100) or heart disease. I still know many more who passed from cancer. Definitely a long list.

  26. cancer really does touch every one of us–as the majority of deaths in my family are due to this disease. i’m sure connor’s life touched so many in his short time here. this is an important cause.

  27. Cancer touches us all these days; I was quite shocked to learn that all my grandparents died from various cancers…I was told by Mum that they had heart attacks. Now I guess we all die when our heart stops, but it would have been useful to know this when I had my own cancer investigations. I think I would walk for my friend Jamie, who fought so hard and so long against male breast cancer. I miss his laugh.

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