Who would be willing to walk sixty miles in three days for breast cancer? I’ll tell you who — Kimberly Decker, Office Manager for T.A. Kaiser Heating and Air. She has been in training since January, walking hundreds of miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day program to honor the memory of her step-sister-in-law, Moramay, who went Home on Nov 13, 2013, and also to honor her step-mother, Lorine, a ten year survivor.
Kimberly wants to help find a cure so that we all can live in a world without breast cancer. Maybe you agree and want to help, or even to walk next year. Here are some of her fondest memories and thoughts about this wonderful adventure.
- For anyone considering participating in this event… JUST DO IT! It is amazing! I talked to one lady that had no connection to Breast Cancer, however she participated every year “because it restores her faith in humanity.” She is right; there is no other feeling like it.
- I registered to do this event alone and I was quite scared to be “by myself.” Wow, was I wrong. There were NO STRANGERS; we laughed, we cried, we sang, we waved, we danced, we thanked so many wonderful people from the communities that we traveled through, but one thing was certain — I was never “alone”.
- The opening ceremony was quite moving. At one point, we held up pictures of our loved ones and called out their names. It was an emotional and beautiful moment that I will always remember.
- When I was standing at the closing ceremonies with all the walkers around me I felt pure joy to have accomplished something so big. More than 1200 people shared the same passion, to find a cure for breast cancer, and it was just amazing. The Michigan SGK 3 Day event raised over $2.5 million to save lives!
- I learned things about myself this year that have even surprised me, or I remembered things that had been long forgotten and I am so glad they are back! Sunday afternoon on the drive back to our hotel after closing ceremonies, I was discussing which event I want to walk next year. Really? I hadn’t even taken my shoes off after finishing this year’s event and I was considering next year? That says it was an event of a lifetime!
- I met a 2 time MALE breast cancer survivor named Lee. His team, Breast Man Walking, raised over $42,000 and their tag line is, “Male Breast Cancer – Rare but REAL!” In this family’s case, he carries the BRCA gene. His daughter also carries this gene and developed breast cancer at 28 years old. Because of her father’s breast cancer she knew that she carried this gene, and it probably saved her life as her cancer was caught so early.
- The community support is amazing and made those miles fly by. There was one lady about my age that I saw every day, on average of 3-4 times during the day, offering amazing support. If you were walking by yourself, she would run up to you and walk with you for about a block and thank us, tell us how great we were and ask our story then left with a hug. Boy, did that ever help when my tank was running empty. Bless her heart for hugging so many sweaty stinky people.
- Town of Plymouth was AMAZING!!! They turned the fountain pink, business were out cheering and giving us stuff and HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of people out to cheer us on and wanting to have us stop and talk. AMAZING. I was given Tshirts, temp tattoos, popsicles (which were lifesavers on Saturday), candy, tooth brushes, sunscreen and deodorant from people along the walk. There were even a few brave homeowners who had signs offering use of their bathroom! WOW!!!
- The best advice that I can give someone is to train, get a couple great pair of shoes and good socks. And did I mention TRAIN? This is not an event that you can “just show up and do”, I suppose you could try, but it would be miserable! I am proud to report that my 450+ training miles paid off because I got through 60 miles without one blister which plagued so many walkers. The medical team is awesome to keep everyone on their feet. Finally, you don’t have to already be an athlete, I am certainly not, you just walk and keep walking.
We are so proud of Kimberly for this effort, and for being such an amazing part of our TAK family. We’ve been a family business since 1987, and we have many amazing family members in our business. Give us a call and you’ll get to meet some of them!