I am not even sure where to begin...this past weekend was one of the most incredible, emotional and inspirational experiences of my life. I have spent the last couple of days pondering how to write about the Susan G. Komen 3 Day For The Cure, and I have finally realized that there is just no possible way to put into words everything that this weekend entailed and how much it impacted me. As much as I may try, I could never accurately describe the emotions I felt during this weekend, and during the Opening Ceremony in particular- surrounded by my 9 friends of Team Meghan Malley Rally, Mom & Doug, Mike and Kyle - watching those left behind carry flags for their wives, mothers, daughters and friends that they lost - witnessing the incredibly strong & fierce survivors raise their joined hands in an act of victory and celebration - and starting the 60 mile journey together after a tearful team huddle. To be honest, the Opening Ceremony was more difficult and more emotional than I expected it to be - definitely the hardest part of the weekend to get through. It was extremely tough for me to stand in the midst of hundreds of women and men walking in memory of a loved one and wondering if one day my friends would be walking in my memory, rather than in my honor as a survivor. Although the start of this amazing weekend was quite overwhelming, it was also filled with encouragement, optimism and hope.
9 friends, 3 days, 60 miles, 1 goal...to find a cure for breast cancer!
A group of incredible survivors surrounding the memorial flag honoring all of those that have lost their fight
The most adorable member of Team Meghan Malley Rally - hands down! :)
The girls were flexing those muscles to show off their new pink ribbon "tatoos" during Friday's lunch break
The girls kicked Day 1's booty! After starting the walk together, Mike, Andy, Andrew and I then met the team for lunch and cheered them on as they started the second half of the day. They completed the day in great spirits, full of energy and inspiration. Brin stayed with us at night to take care of Andrew instead of camping, so it was wonderful to hear her stories from the first day - all of the fabulous people they met, the community of cheerleaders they encountered, and the walkers that asked to hear the story of who she was walking for.
On Saturday, we headed out to Plymouth to host a cheering station at the Plymouth Cultural Center. We cheered on the amazing 3 Day walkers from 10:30 to 2:30pm and were joined by so many of our family and friends! It was so incredible to have all of you join us on Saturday, and I can't tell you enough how much that meant to me - to not only have you support me, but support all of the women and men that are fighting for a cure!
Team Meghan Malley Rally looking as strong as ever during Saturday's lunch break!
Many members of my old RIM gang...so thankful to have worked with such amazing people and that I am able to call all of them my friends
My beautiful & incredibly supportive sorority sisters - love you girls!
My biggest cheerleader! ♥
Taking part in that cheering station was truly an unforgettable experience. You would never believe how many people saw our t-shirts and said, "Oh I know Meghan, her team told me all about her!", or "How is Meghan doing?", "I am praying for Meghan". When people saw that I was standing right there, they proceeded to give me huge hugs, ask how I was doing, tell me to keep fighting, and let me know I am forever in their prayers. It was amazing to hear complete strangers tell me they read my blog or that they have heard about me from someone else they know. They knew all about me, my story, my diagnosis, my treatment schedule...it was amazing. I felt like I had a million people wrapping their arms around me in love and prayer and it was a feeling I will hold onto for the rest of my life. It was a truly special day!
My fierce walker warriors were still going strong after 40 miles but they were definitely starting to have some aches, pains, and a few blisters pop up by the end of Saturday's walk. But they didn't complain. They continued to share with me the love and support offered by other participants of the 3 Day, the other survivors they met, and the overwhelming emotions they all felt throughout the day along their journey.
The start of the last leg of their journey was accompanied by some light rain but that never even dampened their spirits. I met them for lunch on Sunday with the hopes to boost their spirits and give them some inspiration for the final few miles. I expected to find my friends exhausted and possibly in pain, definitely in need of a pep talk. They didn't even come close to needing it - they were filled with excitement, pride, and joy and ready to tackle those last few miles! I was totally amazed and couldn't wait to meet them at the finish line.
We arrived at the Ford Motor Company World Headquarters on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the completion of this amazing 3 day, 60 mile journey. Team Meghan Malley Rally were total rockstars and finished this incredible feat in one piece, only a few blisters here and there, and wearing smiles from ear to ear! I couldn't have been more proud to have my name displayed across their shirts.
I was also so touched to see more family and friends come down to the Closing Ceremony to be there with us. Everything always seems so much better when you are surrounded by so many family and friends and I can't say thank you enough for that! The Closing Ceremony was also an emotional one but I was very happy to also feel like it was celebratory and inspirational. I was so proud of my girls for taking part in this and Mike and I were totally inspired to participate in the 3 Day in one way or another from here on out!
After the beautiful Closing Ceremony, we all headed over to Mom & Doug's house where we were joined by many, many more family and friends! It was so wonderful to walk out the back door and see the deck and yard filled with all of our loved ones. It was a perfect way to end this amazing weekend!
A group of great friends and some of my favorite ladies!
My sweet little buddy, Andrew. I had the best week snuggling this adorable guy...and how great is his bib that his momma, Brinley made! I love it!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you that in one way or another contributed to this incredible cause and unforgettable weekend! Thank you for your donations, your cheerleading, your hugs, your well wishes, your time.....the list goes on and on. I hope that I have thanked each of you personally when I have seen you, but if I haven't, please know how grateful I am for your support and the support you have shown Mike, Mom, Doug, Jeff and the rest of my family.
I can never thank the amazing Meghan Malley Rally 3 Day team enough for everything they did for me this summer...Brinley, Kara, Becca, Lindsay, Nancy, Stacy, Melanie, Amanda and Nikki. Your incredible efforts raised over $30,000 to find a cure for breast cancer!!! Through all the fundraising events and the actual 3 Day weekend, you guys have made me feel so loved and appreciated all at the same time making me smile, laugh and forget about this terrible disease for awhile. For that, I am grateful! You were total warriors during this event and I can't wait to walk 60 miles with you in the future!
An extra special thank you to those wonderful family and friends that traveled this past weekend to be here to support us. Brinley, Andy and Andrew came all the way from Jensen Beach, Florida - Melanie and Ben from Cleveland - Amanda, Nick, Liz, Nancy, Chelsea, Beth, Ben, Joe and Lauren from Chicago - Aunt Clare, Beth and Brigetta from North Carolina - Jenny from Grand Rapids. I hope I am not forgetting anyone. The fact that you guys took time out of your busy lives to physically be here to give us hugs and show your support, seriously meant so much to Mike and I! We are so incredibly blessed to have all of you as our family and friends.
Another special thank you to my mom's incredible friends, Barb and Roni for working their tails off in the kitchen all night on Sunday so that my mom could enjoy herself at the party and not stress about all the behind the scenes stuff. Your support of my mom means more to me than you will ever know - thank you so very much!
Lastly, thank you to my AMAZING momma, Jan and my stepdad, Doug for all of their love, support and hard work this past weekend. For spending all weekend supporting the 3 Day team and other walkers, and for opening up their home to host TONS of our friends and family on Sunday. You guys are the best and we would be lost without you.
The Susan G. Komen 3 Day For The Cure slogan couldn't touch any closer to home for me..."Everyone deserves a lifetime". I believe I not only deserve a lifetime but I have promised myself and Mike that I will go to the ends of the Earth to make sure I achieve that. I am so thankful for this incredible event which has provided me an extra dose of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement. Thank you so much to all of you for giving me hope! As my beautiful Godmother, Aunt Carol shared with me, "If you have faith, you have hope and if you have hope, you have everything!" ♥
Well, there are so many other things that have happened over the past week or so that I want to share...updates from my oncologist, meeting with my plastic surgeon, upcoming tests, meeting other young women with breast cancer, the Johnson's week long visit, and so much more! Check back frequently over the next couple of weeks because we have a lot going on that I want to keep everyone up to date about.
I am off to get some more rest - haven't quite caught up from all the busy festivities over the past week! Have a great weekend everyone.
ps. SAVE THE DATE: My fabulous friend, Patty has been planning an incredible benefit concert for us which will take place on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 at The Berkley Front in downtown Berkley from 4-10pm. The event will showcase some amazing local bands, there will be a silent auction and all sorts of other great things. Many more details to come but mark your calendars now! Please contact Patty Labella at 248-752-3104 or email@example.com if you have any items or services to donate for the silent auction or would like to help out in any other way. Check back to the blog soon for more updates!
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