This Aim At Melanoma Walk has been AWESOME! The sheer awesomeness started coming together a few days ago. I was messaged by Judy King, who is with Jen Christy and both dear ladies are receiving intense treatments for their stage 4 melanoma. That had each wanted to travel to Charlotte, NC and join us but melanoma told each "no." Jen, particularly, wanted to come and was devastated when she couldn't. Soooooo, Judy, knowing how heart-broken she was gave me a beautiful suggestion of pulling Jen's picture off Facebook and making signs that we could tote around and make her "part" of the Walk. Well, I'm not arty or crafty so I sent out my own private message to several friends and one, Timna of Respect the Rays, jumped on the project. Pounced on it is more like it. Not only did she make fun signs with Jen's picture, she made a few with Jillian Hayes, Eric Martin, Steve Martin, Susan and Jillian Hayes, Bob Lockey, Leslie May, and Judy King. (Judy's sign isn't in the picture below, but it was made and I carried her around with proudly).
This was the prayer: "O Lord, you have brought us together from many places. We come as Your children, and we come bound together by a common disease, melanoma. Some of us battle, some love us, and some have buried a loved one because of melanoma. We are also bound by a common goal and that is to kick melanoma to the curb, to find a cure, and until a cure is found to find more and better options. Your hand, Lord, is on this Walk and we thank You. Now, please, touch our human efforts and bring forth mighty results. We're trusting You with this, Lord, and we thank You that You are faithful and will complete what You began! Melanoma is coming down! Amen and Amen!"
So, this morning, we were walking and I was carrying the sign with Susan, Jillian, and Charlotte's picture on it and the one with Judy King, and towards the end of the walk, Mark Williams and I are walking and he's carrying Bob Lockey's sign. Bob died not too long ago, and many of us really looked forward to meeting him. We knew his family was supposed to be at the Walk but we hadn't met them. Until the end of the walk and we just all kinda met up as we walked and talked and I took Bob's sign right out of Mark's hand, without asking, and handed it to his daughter Paige. God was working. They needed to walk with Bob and they needed that sign.
Jean Schlipmann, founder of Aim, came up from Texas and spoke. Jean gives GREAT hugs! When that woman squeezes, you know you've been squoze! Rich McDonald and Mark Williams wore their black tutus and were stunning! In a manly sort of way. Chelsea wore her tiara. Al Estep wore his signature hat and took photos with his head cocked so people would recognize him. I hugged Alicia Bowling who is One Tough Mudder! And we all met some of the best people on the face of the planet!
God smiled. The weather was crisp, but clear and beautiful! The park is beautiful! Friendships made online are now cemented with real hugs.