Sunday, May 2, 2010

Big day in Times Square

It's kind of amazing to think that this event with tens of thousands of people, Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, and an enormous explosion of red confetti, was not the most newsworthy thing to occur in Times Square on Saturday May 1st. Less than 12 hours after our walk, the area would be shut down again, for what looks like an attempted car bombing. Suzanne

7:00 AM, Times Square, New York City.
I arrive to pick up my T-shirt for the Revlon Run/Walk for women. I've been so sleepy up to this moment, that I have not realized this is my first time participating in this type of event as a cancer survivor.  All of a sudden my eyes are filled with tears seeing all of the volunteers and the scope of organization taking place. During the day one of my fellow walkers would say, "This is all for you." It's an idea I am still having some trouble fully coming to terms with. (The photo is from a different Suzanne, BTW.)

I've been to much smaller, low key events in the Midwest, but all of a sudden, the place where the world watches the ball drop on New Year's Eve is shut down to raise money for cancer charities.

Even with good support, cancer is a lonely journey, and it amazes me to see how many groups of people, are up and out and organized for this effort. I'm on a team named "K.I.A" (for kick it's ass) organized by my friend Meridith, a young mother with stage 4 breast cancer. The group next to us is called something like "Cancer warriors...soldier on" and has cute pink camouflage bandannas, like the one on the little dog in the picture.

I have been given an "I'm a cancer survivor sign" to wear. I still have not gotten quite used to being a cancer billboard, but seeing as we are in Times Square, I figure there is no time like the present to start. I wrote my name with a heart on the sign, but next year I'll take a different approach and and go with "Don't bump my boobs!" Hey, even at a charity walk this is still New York City.

To be honest, I can not see or hear much of the opening ceremonies. I know there are big names here, but the crowd is almost overwhelming. I do get a kick out of the big explosion of confetti, a sign we can get moving. I have lived in New York City for about 17 years, I've marched in a few parades, but it's still kind of thrilling to make our way through the place where the city marks events like D-Day.

We finish the walk exactly 2 hours after we start. If this were the New York City Marathon, it would be a heck of a time. But after conquering the heat and crowds, we feel like we have accomplished something worthwhile.


  1. go suzanne! you rock. i aspire to do another fundraising event once i am done with treatment.

  2. Great story!!!

  3. WOWOWOWO -- WOOT!!! Nothing like an event with so many like-minded souls. The first Komen walk I participated in (before reconstruction event) I didn't know that doves were released right before the start. It felt like a sacred moment. I hope that you know how special you are.


  4. These are some of the bravest women you will ever meet

  5. Thanks for sharing the Big Apple event with us Suzanne. I am grateful for the first-hand pictures which capture the emotions. Next weekend is our midwest Cowtown, Columbus walk, where we will have about 100,000 gather.

    My favorite part last year was when all of the survivors gathered inside the state house rotunda and we each repeated a single word, which then bounced around accoustically. So you'd hear courage....courage.....courage, and believe....believe....believe..... and all bouncing off the ceiling in a lovely poem of strength.