I was just thinking, yesterday. I was a participant in The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Roger Williams Park. As my friends and I were walking towards the beginning of the walk, it was necessary for us to climb up this rather large hill, across from this beautiful, turn of the century casino, complete with porticos and expansives views of the good sized lake in that part of this beautiful park.
I always think about the origins of things, and was wondering what Olmstead would’ve thought of three thousand some odd people, awake and overtaking the hill by eight am on this beautiful fall morning, marching against cancer. Bet he never would have imagined his park being used for such a cause as breast cancer. But here we were, determined to stand up for all women and men that have this illness. Upon reaching the peak of the rather breast-like mound we had to climb, the sight to behold was frenetic and energized beyond anything I had experienced on so early a morning. Thousands of people,in a sea of pink and white and black, swarming like sprinkles on a cupcake. Audibly gasping aloud at the sight, It left me with a knot in my stomach and my head pounding, after seeing this sea of humanity. The Elderly, middle aged men, college boys, grandmothers, teenaged girls, middle aged women, toddlers, dogs, cheerleaders, strollers, all snaking along the pathways of this orange and red, festooned park.Quite honestly, it made me want to cry. Not for the beauty of humanity and the goodness of us all, but rather the incredible cross section of lives affected by cancer.
By the time we started to descend the breast – I mean hill, I was pumped into a fury. To have the perspective of the cross section of life for just one small city on one day in one state in one country was mind blowing. How could this happen? We have guys throwing themselves out of space, freefalling at 700 miles and hour- and surviving! That one event took most of the focus of most of the world. How can we not find a cure to something as horrible as cancer that affects so many, many lives? And this is not to take away from the tragedy of breast cancer, not by any means, but what about all the other kinds of cancers? What if there was one walkathon for all cancer, on one day, in one place. Now that would give us a clearer idea of exactly how many beautiful families and friends are touched by this disease. I would find that a lot more relevant, seeing a humanity of people whose lives have been affected by a disease we should be putting our focus into. Now that would be something to set a record about. And could possibly bring the change and drive needed to eradicate an illness affecting many more people than I think we realize. Something to think about.