Like many great things, the resounding impact of this past weekend’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara goes beyond words and must be felt by the heart. Team AVA MD–including Dr. Ava, Candis Melamed, and Rama Fakheri–successfully finished 39.3 miles, raising more than $6,000; while the Avon Walk Santa Barbara raised nearly $4.6 million with approximately 2,000 walkers. But the real stars of the weekend were the brave people for whom we walked–people whose names were honored or memorialized on every participant’s shirt–those who have survived or who have fallen victim to breast cancer.
United with purpose, we shared a day filled with emotions, remembrances, tears, hope, and love. Witnessing the sea of people motivated to walk or volunteer drove home the vast proportions of this disease, summed up in Avon Walk’s statement: “If you don’t know someone who’s been affected, you will.” Support came from all sides, from female and male walkers who were survivors or were there to support someone they knew affected by breast cancer, multitudes of tireless volunteers, biker dudes with pink beards, children whose elders had gotten sick, and what seemed like every resident of Santa Barbara County cheering us on. We were moved countless times by shared moments with fellow walkers, each with their own personal story and reason propelling them to complete the walk and take steps closer to finding a cure.
Knowing this weekend occurs on an international scale is staggering proof of breast cancer’s devastating effects, yet also a tangible reminder that there is support, solidarity and greatest of all, hope. Dr. Ava and her team were honored to participate in this momentous weekend and support everyone in our lives and practice who’ve been affected by breast cancer or any cancer.
Have you or someone you know been affected by breast cancer or any cancer?