Our volunteers started arriving at 6:30 a.m. the morning of the walk. We were unloading approximately eight million bottles of water, which helped warm everyone up a bit with the exception of our finger tips. If you are ever in the position of having one of your fingers cut off by a mafioso named Paulie, I'd recommend being outside in the wee hours of a February morning beforehand. You won't feel a thing.
We had been begging grocery stores for weeks for donations and decided to use what we got to buy the three food groups of childhood: bananas, peanut butter crackers, and Pop Tarts. Like, enough Pop Tarts to feed a small village of very hungry Pop Tart enthusiasts.
We were fortunate to have lots of entertainment during registration. There were clowns! Face painters! Balloon artists! Crafts! The Teddy Bear Clinic! Wool E. Bull! Mr. & Ms. Wuf! Now, if you could re-read that paragraph in your best Sunday-Sunday-Sunday Monster Truck Show voice, that would be great.
We had Gerald Owens and Amanda Lamb from WRAL as our emcees for the walk, and they did a wonderful job. Amanda's niece is a Wilms survivor, so she was particularly excited to be a part of the event. And Gerald Owens...is one, very tall man. I'm a very tall girl, but even I got a crick in my neck looking up to talk to him. It must be how the rest of you feel when you talk to me. Make a point to wear platforms next time we meet. And please don't ask me if I played basketball in high school, because I am probably the second most nonathletic being of all time, the first being that two-legged dog down the road. But maybe we both could excel a bit more if only we took a little Charlie Sheen.
(I'm not abnormally tall, I'm just a girl who's 5'11" and happens to have a problem digressing.)
The chiefs from the pediatric hem-onc departments at both Duke and UNC presented medals to both the survivors and those in-treatment. The families who were there in memory of children lost were given a balloon to release. Natalie asked me if the balloons were going up to heaven, and I like to think they were.
Thanks to Jo's PhotoMojo for documenting the day (with J.B. Haygood Photography and my own Pops, too!) and coming up with these beautiful story boards for CureSearch.