by Kim Bottcher and Mandira Sethi
The slogan for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is “Everyone deserves a lifetime.” This is exactly what we (Kim and Mandira) have been fighting and training for the last several months: the chance for everyone to have the opportunities of life. This experience has been incredibly rewarding and generous in so many ways.
We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to help the men and women all over the world who are faced with the onset of breast cancer, like the inspirational two year survivor Janet Podlogar, Kim’s mother, who battled and survived this terrible disease.
The fear, confusion, anger, tears, pain, depression, complications, and all of the surgeries and treatments all wear on individuals and families affected by the disease.
Our 3-day experience began on a rough, rainy, and chilly day, but the inclement weather wasn’t able to dampen our spirits on Friday, October 24th! After a wet 18.3 miles, everyone was safely relocated and able to sleep indoors Friday night! Saturday provided a much-needed change in weather. It started off chilly, but turned into a beautiful, breezy fall day. There were plenty of fun sights along the 18.9-mile route, including a male crew member in a wedding gown who welcomed walkers to dance their way to lunch.
There were many ups and downs as rolling hills took us through Duluth and Johns Creek, but there was plenty of encouraging community support along the route, with signs and banners, candy giveaways, cheering, and sidewalk chalk messages that kept us going strong.
Sunday was another gorgeous fall day in the Atlanta area. The 15.6-mile route traveled down Peachtree Street through Brookhaven, Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown. Lunch was held at Piedmont Park, a city favorite and signature area in Atlanta. It all culminated in an inspiring Closing Ceremony at the Georgia World Congress Center in the heart of Atlanta. The final victory walk with all the walkers, survivors, crew, and family members cheering on was an emotional and touching finish.