In rainbow formation approaching the Prince's Gates at the CNE we are from left to right: (not including stranger in black) Elana, Donna House, Donna Nothouse, Hallie, Me (Tara), Tena, & Lisa - our Capt.
"I just wanted to pass on a heartfelt thanks to y'all. (I'm forwarding finish line pix from my sister). If you are getting this email it is because you helped me to fundraise $2250 not to mention the extra money you helped the rest of my team raise. The 7 members of the 'Rainbows' together raised $18,000 and all completed the 62K walk for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers standing (barely). (see photos).
Some fun facts:
Almost 5000 women participated in the one day walk. About 2500 hung in for the two day version. None of the Rainbows caught a 'sweep vehicle' at any point -- We all walked all 62K of it. ALSO, when we entered CAMP in Downsview after 9.5 hours of walking on Day 1, we were approached by a woman in a clipboard asking us to please be a part of the catwalk show. The Rainbows got to strut their stuff on the catwalk with about 8 teams. (The high cost of our fabulous uniforms and hats-hats which were donated by Australian hat company when they found out our cause.). The adrenaline rush of our performance and our newfound fans helped us to bear standing/dancing the extra 45 minutes this honour cost us before we could collapse and eat and stretch etc.
I had to call in sick Monday to my day job as I couldn't bear to bear weight on my feet. But I didn't get a single blister. I did sustain a yucky rash over the tops of my feet and around my ankles. Today, I am walking like an average 88 year old might, and unable to put shoes on, with hideous purple/red bruisey rash on feet and heels, but walking is not terribly painful.
During the walk we made some new pals, (especially among the slower walkers-we were in the last 100 to come in before the closing ceremonies, but we did it as a team), and we had some really sweet, moving moments walking through neighbourhoods where people embraced us. There were the Nonas who fed us homemade biscotti and espresso as we started off on day two full of aches and pains; the couple with the 3 week old baby who fed walkers dixie cup shots of Blue Light somewhere around the 6th hour of walking on Day 1; the blind man and his wife (likely in their 70's) sporting matching hot pink wigs with braids who kept passing us on the walk; the 97 year old walker with her granddaughter who we realized was AHEAD of us after lunch on day 2; the two times when we were cheerfully informed that the foursome we were walking in were the LAST four walkers in the lineup and they (on their bikes were the 'caboose'); drinking champagne and orange juice in dixie cups as the last 4 walkers (they handed us the tray); the kiddies all decked out in pink writing us notes on the sidewalk in chalk and passing us handwritten notes saying things like, 'Yay. Keep going. Wow!'; walking with my friend Julie, who is a survivor. And of course the silly thrill I got of all those straight ladies on my team wearing rainbow gear. And yes, many people did suspect we were a group from a Queer alliance, but alas, my straight team mates were simply gaying it forward.
So, thanks again for pitching in by donating to my endcancer page, by coming to a euchre tourney, or by attending or performing in the comedy fundraiser. It all helped us to do something very hard, cool, unique, and unforgettable.
Wish me luck fitting into shoes again soon!
P.S. when our feet were KILLING us in the last 5K we called my mother to call back with a mantra or meditation for us, she did not fail. She called back close to the finish line with this gem:
"I move forward with joy and ease." So say we all. Or we should.