HOA: McKenna Weathers Participates in Three Day Breast Cancer Walk
December 2, 2016
Cancer is a devastating disease that does not discriminate. For Junior, McKenna Weathers, cancer has affected her life for as long as she can remember. Ever since her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when her mother was six years old, Weathers’ mom and aunts have participated in numerous breast cancer fundraisers. This year, however, Weathers decided to carry on this tradition and join her family in a 60 mile walk over three days in San Diego, California
Achona: Can you tell us about the walk?
Weathers: “Over Thanksgiving Break, me, my mom and my aunts traveled to San Diego, California to do a 60 mile walk. The walk is partnered with the Susan G. Komen foundation to raise money for breast cancer research, free mammograms, and many other things.”
A: What was your first impression of the walk when you arrived?
W: “To be honest, I was slightly overwhelmed. I’d been to the walk before to support my mom and aunts but never actually participated. There were so many people and so much going on. I was a nervous excited.”
A: What inspired you to walk?
W: “My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer before I was born; my mom was six years old. This particular walk is really important to my family because my mom has participated in this walk five times, one of my aunts has walked eight times, and two of my other aunts have walked 13 times. To walk, I had to raise $2,300 and to do so, I made a video of the people in my life that have had any type of cancer.”
A: What did you experience on the walk?
W: “The walk was such an amazing experience all around.The support from each town or place we walked through was overwhelming. The streets were lined with people cheering and giving us goodies every step of the way. Not to mention the views were breathtaking. We walked along the beach at some point every day. There were many survivors that came out to support the walkers and some even had signs that said things like,”people like you saved me.” Those things really hit home for me.”
A: How did you sleep and eat?
W: “The first night before the walk I stayed in a hotel that sponsors the Susan G. Komen foundation. A shuttle bus picked us up Friday morning to take us to opening ceremonies. The next three nights, my family and I stayed in a beach house. Many people who do the walk can actually camp in tents at the walk’s campsite. During the walk, there are several pit stops every few miles with food, water, bathrooms and medical tents. About halfway through the walk each day, there is a large camp that provides free lunch. There is definitely no shortage of food.”
A: Why did you decide to participate this year?
W: “I’ve always wanted to do the walk but you have to be 16 in order to be eligible.The walk really hits home for me so it just felt like something I had to experience. I’ve always wanted to take part in something bigger and help make a difference, and I think this was my first “step” towards that goal.”
Are you planning on walking next year?
“Yes, for sure. The walk is such a big part of my family and I’m so lucky to be involved something that changes lives. I’m definitely looking forward to walking next year.”