It truly was a “Sunday morning, rain is falling” moment on Sunday, October 6th, when a sea of pink pride swept along the coast of the Charles River, united in the eternal fight against breast cancer. Over 7,000 dedicated breast cancer awareness supporters trekked the five mile scenic path through the beautiful city of Boston in the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event. And Hanover High was proud to boast that many of its very own students were among these dedicated supporters! The journey was a wet one, but that did not stop anybody. The thousands of walkers trudged on, clad in pink T-shirts and soggy sneakers, splashing through puddles and embracing the light shower of rain drizzling from overhead branches. It was an amazing opportunity for HHS students (and Bostonians alike) to walk alongside their closest friends, experience a morning of crisp fall air, and most importantly, “make strides” against the prominent disease. There was never a dull moment on this five mile course, for the scenery continued to change, ranging from geese-infested riverbanks, to lush, tree-filled fields, to intricate, graffiti-ridden bridges. And if the abundance of nature was not enough to keep our eyes occupied, every so often there would be breast cancer awareness signs posted. These signs were printed either with humorous and inspirational quotes or with little known facts about breast cancer, keeping all of us striding supporters focused on the true goal of our journey. One read “Just keep swimming!” and another informed that “1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.”
What was really astounding about this event was how many people were stationed throughout the course, wrapped in rain jackets or ponchos, huddled against the rain, and still yelling encouragement through their shivers and extending their numb hands for high-fives. And, of course, the final stretch of the trail came with a bittersweet ending. It sure did feel exhilarating to finally finish, yet crossing the finish line meant that the beautiful scenery, cheerful company, and easy conversation had to end. But then again, ahead of the finish line was yet another bright pink mass to look forward to, with more volunteers, spirited and lively, clapping and cheering and yelling words of praise while all of us proud walkers reached our final destination.
Overall, the walk was an incredible experience for all who took part and more than $1 million dollars was raised toward breast cancer research, prevention, and awareness. The effectiveness of the walk was evident in the smiles of all walking survivors, volunteers, and anyone involved really believed that every step and splash was worth it. At the end of the day, it was not about how fast you walked or even what a great time you had. It was about giving hope to all of those out there suffering from an unfortunate disease. And I’d say that there’s no better way to spend a rainy Sunday morning than by giving hope to those who need it most.